Pope Francis marked the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a special Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, where he underscored the significance of virtues and humility.
Describing it as the “image of the first disciple, of the mother of all believers, of the Church herself,” the Pope underscored the humility embedded in this representation, highlighting the modesty of what humanity possesses, which may seem insignificant in worldly terms but holds great value in the eyes of God.
The pontiff expounded on the seemingly simple task assigned to Juan Diego by Mary — the gathering of flowers.
Pope Francis interpreted the flowers as symbols of virtues that God instills in the human heart, emphasizing that they are not products of personal effort but divine gifts.
He stressed the importance of accepting these virtues to infuse goodness into daily life, fostering a spirit that dispels hatred and fear.
Turning to the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis highlighted her words, “Am I not here, I who am your mother?”
These words, he explained, signify the enduring presence of the Virgin in the lives of believers.
The Pope emphasized that the virtues symbolized by the flowers are to remain embedded in the fabric of human existence, even in a world seemingly incapable of producing them.
“These virtues,” Pope Francis said, “fill our poverty in the simplicity of small gestures of love,” illuminating the metaphorical tilma with the image of a Church carrying Christ within.
He described this image as a powerful and uncomplicated message that transcends explanation, shielding believers from various social and political ideologies.
Pope Francis warned against the distortion of the message of Guadalupe for ideological purposes. He asserted that the genuine essence of the feast does not tolerate any form of ideological manipulation.