Medellín experienced an historic event this Saturday, September 9, when more than one million people from various parts of the city, the country and the world gathered at Olaya Herrera Airport to listen to Pope Francis during the Holy Mass.
Before the ceremony, Pope Francis apologized by his delay arriving to the city due to climate conditions during the morning that forced him to move by land and not by helicopter as it was planned.
“I would like to thank you for having waited for me for long hours in the rain,” said Pope Francisco, before starting the ceremony.
In his sermon, he said that the Church is going through a time of renewal which should not generate fear, it renews itself in faith. He added that this renewal is a sacrifice: “The Church is not a customs office, it wants to welcome everybody.”
3,500 ministers of communion, 3,500 young volunteers and about 2,500 priests attended this mass; and over 600,000 communion breads were delivered.
The choir Cantante Domino Cánticum Novum and Selection of Ministers of the Liturgical Singing Archdiocese of Medellín, integrated by 300 people, set the mood during the Eucharist.
Se instalaron 20 sagrarios, cada uno con 150 copones atendidos por los servidores de la Sagrada Comunión. 6,240 people among deacons, candidates for the permanent diaconate and extraordinary ministers of the parishes belonging to the Archdiocese of Medellin and the surrounding dioceses, were involved in this ceremony. They were in charge of delivering the communion bread to the attendees and were supported by 3,000 young people from the Youth Ministry.
The Mayor of Medellín had a special location for about 100 inmates, a delegation of 100 people with hearing disabilities accompanied by 10 sign language interpreters and 300 people with different health problems.
At the end of the ceremony, the Archbishop of Medellin, Ricardo Tobón Restrepo, gave Pope Francisco a replica of the Virgin of Candelaria, and said: “This is a show of our appreciation and gratitude, an image of Our Lady of Candelaria, the benevolent mother who has accompanied the Church since its beginnings in the Valley of Aburra. “
The image of the Virgin of Candelaria, patroness of the Archdiocese of Medellin, accompanied the Holy Mass. This image has been venerated for centuries in the Church of Candelaria, located in Berrío Park. It was painted in Spain and donated by Queen Regent Mariana of Austria and her son Charles II.
Another important symbol was the Christ placed on the stage, donated by the Government of Antioquia, and will be part of a new parish which will be built honoring the visit of Pope Francis to Medellín.
After the mass at the Olaya Herrera, the Holy Father went to the Conciliar Seminary of Medellín to take a break. Later, he held a meeting with seminarians and trainers.
Source: Mayor of Medellín