Mexican cardinal: Pope Francis to visit Mexico in February

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Pope Francis touches an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 12, 2014. (Daniel Ibanez/CNA)
Pope Francis touches an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Peter’s Basilica Dec. 12, 2014. (Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

MEXICO CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Pope Francis will visit Mexico City in February 2016, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrerra announced on Sunday.

“I have a piece of news that everyone already knows: the Holy Father comes to visit us, and he comes on the afternoon of Feb. 12. So from that day we will receive him with much love,” the cardinal said.

The cardinal made the announcement during Sunday Mass at Mexico City’s Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in to Heaven Nov. 1, Televisa reports. He suggested that the date of the Pope’s arrival in Mexico was “very close” to Feb. 12.

The Vatican has not yet made an official announcement of the trip.

On Oct. 6 Fr. Ciro Benedettini, the vice director of the Holy See Press Office told CNA that the Pope was seriously considering a trip to Mexico next year. He said that if the trip takes place, an agenda is expected to be released in November.

Mexico would be Pope Francis’ fourth trip to the Americas. He visited Brazil for World Youth Day in August 2013. In July of 2014 he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. He visited the United States and Cuba Sept. 19-27.

The Pope has indicated he wanted to spend a full week there, especially to visit the famous Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In March he told the Mexican media group Televisa he had wanted to enter the U.S. from the country’s Mexican border as a symbolic gesture. However, he decided that would be too short a visit for Mexico.

“So I promise a trip to Mexico as it deserves, and not to hurry and pass through,” the Pope told Televisa in March.

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