VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will join Latin Americans celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the 200th anniversary of their nations’ independence.
The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced today that Pope Benedict will celebrate a special Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Dec. 12, the feast day, to commemorate the Latin American bicentennials. Most countries across Central and South America won their independence from Spain between 1810 and 1825.
L’Osservatore said the Pontifical Commission for Latin America suggested the pope mark the occasion. Members of the Roman Curia, Latin American diplomats accredited to the Holy See and Latin American seminarians, religious and priests studying in Rome are expected to celebrate. Rome is home to large and active Argentine, Brazilian and Mexican communities and they’ll be at St. Peter’s, too.