On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the construction of Mexico City’s famed cathedral, the Holy Father sent a message, calling the occasion a “strong spiritual stimulus for a renewed missionary commitment. Pope Francis’ message was sent to Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City and Primate of Mexico.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary will celebrate its anniversary on the feast of its namesake, August 15th. The cathedral is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the Americas and was built during the span of two centuries.
In his message, which was first reported by Vatican Radio, the Holy Father exhorted faithful to nourish the hope that can only come from faith. He also directed his address in particular to the youth of Mexico, who he regarded as “an open window to joy and enthusiasm.”
Pope Francis highlighted the history of the cathedral’s construction, saying that lessons for our individual Christian lives can be learned from its history while inviting the faithful to “gather the best from this spiritual heritage.”
“This anniversary must be seized as an opportunity to convert to a strong spiritual urge to take on the task with joy that every baptized person has: to be a disciple and missionary of Christ.”
“From the Eucharist,” the Pope continues, “we receive the strength to bear witness of the love of Jesus in every environment in which we find ourselves, especially among the most disadvantaged.”
The 76 year old Pontiff insisted that all must guard the future with hope, saying a phrase he has repeated throughout his papacy: “Let no one rob you of hope.” Pope Francis also expressed his desire that the Word of God that resounds in the Cathedral will take root in the hearts of the youth.
“To the youth,” he concluded, “we must give the best we have: Christ, the Savior and Friend who never abandons us.”
“This concerns all parents, who must not fail in their duty to the Christian education of children, not only relying on its own energy, but above all in support of prayer.”