Pope Francis to celebrate Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will say Mass to mark the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th in St. Peter’s Basilica. A press release from the Pontifical Commission for Latin America explains that the Mass will begin at 6PM Rome Time. A Rosary will precede the Mass, beginning at 5:15 PM.

Please find the full text of the press release, below


Holy Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated by Pope Francis
Saint Peter’s Basilica, December 12, 2016


For the third consecutive year, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 12 in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pope Francis, through the President of the Pontifical Commission on Latin America, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, communicated his desire to once again preside at this celebration on the day when millions of Catholics around the world give honor to the Patroness of America and of the Philippines. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 6:00 PM, preceded by the recitation of the Rosary at 5:15 PM and the traditional march of the flags representing the different countries devoted to the Virgin Mary. A large participation of the faithful is expected, especially from the Latin American and Filipino communities in Rome, as well as numerous Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious, members of the Roman Curia and of the Diplomatic Corps.

We recall that on December 12, 2011, in the context of the commemoration of the Independence of Latin America, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated this Feast in St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time. On that occasion, the Holy Mass was accompanied by the singing of the “Misa Criolla” by the Argentinean composer Ariel Ramirez and sung  by the young people of “Coro Musica Nova”. Three years later, in 2014, the present Pope expressed a desire to once again celebrate the Eucharist in honor of the “Morenita”. Through the kindness of the Argentinian Presidency, the Misa Criolla was presented by a group of musicians from Argentina, along with the youth choir “Musica Nova”, directed by the son of the composer Ariel Ramirez, who came expressly for the occasion, 50 years from the first “Criolla Mass” offered at the Vatican, in the presence of Pope Paul VI.

The Holy Father Francis, who professes a deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, in 2015 announced that he would once again presided over the celebration, and had asked the Pontifical Commission for Latin America to collaborate with the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff to organize it. On that occasion, during the homily, the Pope announced his Apostolic Journey to Mexico, from February 12 to 18, 2016, a visit during which he made a historic pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was followed by millions of Catholics worldwide.

This year, while the image of Pope Francis in prayer before the “tilma” of the “Guadalupana” in his pilgrimage to the Shrine is still fresh in our memories, the announcement that once again this Feast will be celebrated in the Vatican Basilica this December 12, kindles a great joy; joy that is in addition to that from the recent canonization of two new Latin American Saints: Argentine priest José Gabriel del Rosario, the “Cura Brochero,” and the young Mexican martyr José Sánchez del Río.

Holy Mass will be accompanied by some ancient liturgical hymns, composed in indigenous languages. Among them will be a beautiful hymn dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe composed in the “Nahuatl” language, the language of the “Nican Mopohua”, the story of the apparitions of Our Lady to the Indian Saint Juan Diego and other ancient songs in the Quechua, Mapuche and Guarani languages. The official Sistine Chapel Choir, which is always present during Papal celebrations at the Basilica, will join the Latin American Choir under the direction of Conductor Eduardo Notrica.

As in previous years, before the Holy Mass, the Holy Rosary will be recited in Spanish and offered for the intentions of the Catholic Church throughout the world, in particular for the Church of the American nations and of the Philippines.

The invitation to participate in the Holy Mass is extended to all the faithful and to all pilgrims who may wish to take part in this Eucharistic Celebration.  Tickets may be requested directly from the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. Priests who wish to concelebrate should contact the Pontifical Commission for Latin America in order to receive the necessary tickets.

Vatican City, November 21, 2016

Pontifical Commission for Latin America
Phone: (39) 06 69 88 31 31       Fax: (39) 06 69 88 42 60
e-mail: pcal@americalatina.va

(from Vatican Radio)

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