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The overwhelming excitement of the Mexican people

· The close of the first half of the Journey ·

It had to happen. The Pope in Mexico wearing a sombrero, it simply had to happen. Among the multitude who waited  through the night in León's Bicentenary Park for Mass Sunday morning, it was two young people who thought of it. While Benedict XVI was riding in the popemobile among the hundreds of thousands of faithful gathered on the immense expanse, they made their way up close and offered him the most elegant kind of Mexican sombrero, the El Charro, plush black velvet with silver decorations. The Pontiff put it and wore it the rest of the drive. The people's enthusiasm, already strong, went through the roof.

It was the finishing touch to the slogan that has been accompanying the rhythm of his every move: Benedicto, hermano, ya eres mexicano (Benedict, our brother, now you are Mexican!).  And Benedict XVI himself confirmed it later, at the end of the day, improvising a greeting in Italian to the crowd cheering for him in front of the Miraflores college, “Now I understand why John Paul II said: I feel Mexican”. And he told them, “I have travelled alot, but  never have I been received with so much enthusiasm. I will carry with me in my heart the impressions of these days: Mexico will always be in my heart”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Jan. 19, 2018

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