President Enrique Peña Nieto welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis at the National Palace, where he welcomed him to Mexico on behalf of Mexicans.

“We hail the reforming Pope who is leading the Catholic Church to a meeting with the people. As Head of State, today at the National Palace, the government of Mexico honors your investiture.” 

He declared that this is the first time the Pope has been received at the National Palace. He added that Pope Francis’ visit transcends an encounter between two states; It is an encounter between a people and their faith.

From dawn, in Constitution Square, thousands of people, whole families, came to express their love and affection for the Pope.

Challenging Times

The president declared that Pope Francis’  papacy has arrived at an important, complex time for the world. 

“It is a time of great challenges. Humanity is experiencing several rapid changes: changes that create opportunities, but also ones that cause doubt and uncertainty. 

We are in an era where it would be possible feed the entire world population and yet millions of people still suffer and starve. 

Advances in science and medicine now allow us to cure more diseases and live longer; but scientific progress has also been used to wage war and cause damage.” 

Therefore, the Mexican president said: ”We must renew hope in the future. Hope is the way and is light. We are all called to build a better world, by working together and in harmony, because solidarity is a way of making history.

He added that it is up to governments to create the conditions to ensure a basic floor of well-being for our societies, by ensuring development opportunities for everyone. 

For their part, it is up to citizens to practice and transmit the values that allow us to coexist and advance as a society. Respect, tolerance and understanding are qualities which, regardless of everyone’s beliefs, make us better people. 

As His Holiness has said, “The key word is dialogue: dialogue between leaders, dialogue with the people and dialogue among the people.”

In his address, President Peña Nieto told His Holiness that millions of Mexicans are ready to receive his words of peace, love and hope, especially this year when the Catholic Church celebrates the Jubilee of Mercy. 

"In the streets, stadiums and squares you visit, you will meet up with a generous, hospitable people, a proudly Guadalupan people.  This is the Mexico that receives you with an open heart and arms. We are a community that values family; a caring society; and a nation forged in the culture of effort. Your Holiness: welcome to this land. Mexico fondly embraces you.”