"Traveling is not particularly favorable at my age, it takes its toll. I'm going to Mexico and the first thing I will do is visit Our Lady of the Americas (Our Lady of Guadalupe)," he said
Pope Francis confirmed Saturday that he will travel to Mexico next February and will venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 13th of that month.
"So that I can pray in the jubilee year before Our Lady of Guadalupe and do so wholeheartedly, I will travel to worship at her shrine next Feb. 13," the pontiff said during his sermon in Spanish, while saying Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the feast of the Virgin Mary, patron of Mexico and of the American continent.
The pope commended to Our Lady "the suffering and happiness of people across the entire American continent" and begged that she "guide the American people on their way."
This will be the fourth time that Francis returns to his native Americas after his pastoral visits to Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July 2015, and to the United States and Cuba in September 2015.
While returning from a trip to Africa last month, the Argentine Jorge Bergoglio spoke of his intention to visit Mexico.
He specified that he would go to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and would later visit "three or four cities" including San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas state, Morelia in Michoacan, and "almost certainly" Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua.
"Traveling is not particularly favorable at my age, it takes its toll. I'm going to Mexico and the first thing I will do is visit Our Lady of the Americas (Our Lady of Guadalupe)," he said.
He said that "if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be going to Mexico City because the purpose of my trip is to visit three or four cities where no pope has ever gone."
He also said he has been invited to Brazil in 2017 to venerate the patron of Portuguese-speaking America, Our Lady of Aparecida, and from there "I could visit some other country," though he made it clear that as yet he has no specific plans. EFE