VATICAN CITY — The iconic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which has become a cultural and spiritual symbol for Latin America, cannot be used to promote any kind of ideology, but must maintain its message of simple love, Pope Francis said.
The Marian image that appeared on the cloak of St. Juan Diego “frees us from so many social and political ideologies that so often use this ‘Guadalupan’ reality to base themselves in, to justify themselves and to earn money,” he said Dec. 12 during Mass on the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe.
“The message of Guadalupe does not tolerate any ideology of any kind,” he said at the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, without specifying any ideology in particular.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which displays the cloak on which Mary’s image appeared, draws some 20 million pilgrims each year.
The pope said the Marian image “remains impressed on the simplicity of who we are and what we have, which is of little value, but which will become something great in God’s eyes.”
Spanish-speakers filled St. Peter’s Basilica for the papal Mass. Many wore shawls or scarves with an image of Our Lady