Mexico is the world’s most Catholic country, and Pope Francis is viewed favorably within the country’s religious community. He visits the country from February 12 to the 17th. Besides his stops in places such as Ciudad Juárez, the state of Mexico, Chiapas, and Michoacán, he’ll also run into things that weren’t an original part of the plan. Here are 10 weird things His Holiness will surely run into:
1. Murals of a Mexican Version of Himself
Image Source: Edgard Garrido
Mexico brought us one of the most exciting muralism movements in the world during the 20th century. Although many have become a part of this movement because they intend to help spread political messages, the art form has transformed into street art that’s used for just about anything, including adding a mariachi hat to the Pope’s head in Ecatepec, state of Mexico.
2. Customized Mariachi Hats
Image Source: Associated Press
Surely painters, artists and devotees have made gifts for Pope Francis. Some of these can include customized mariachi hats with his face on them, and any number of motifs important to Mexican culture such as the Virgin Mary, the Crucifix, and maybe a nod to the Argentinian flag.
3. A Visit From Joe Arpaio?
Image Source: Evan Wiloge
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, from Phoenix, Arizona, is well known for his anti-immigrant stances over the years. He has upheld Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070 to the point of recklessness, put prisoners in a tent city, and become synonymous with anti-immigrant policies across the country. He has; however, expressed an interest in getting a meeting with Pope Francis, and has even been in talks with clergy and other authorities that could help facilitate such a meeting.
It’s an interesting desire coming from someone who has opposing views to His Holiness’ ideas on immigration. Arpaio is interested in a prayer request for his wife, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
4. Security Everywhere
Image Source: Ulises Ruiz Basurto
The topic of security is huge in Mexico. With the Pope’s visit, the country has gotten into a frenzy. Mexico City has placed fences in key areas of Circuito Interior, the street in which Pope Francis will exit Mexico City’s airport in anticipation of his visit. Other cities have taken similar measures to prevent any complications in dealing with crowds.
5. A Lot of Water Bottles and An Austere Menu
Image Source: Reuters
Because it’s Lent, Pope Francis will eat fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and other natural ingredients. He will not consume water from Mexico and it is said that he even brought his own from the Vatican.
Pope Francis wants his trip to be as frugal as possible and will not consume alcohol, spicy foods, or red meat. During his visit to San Cristobal de Las Casas, his cook will be María Socorro Arizmendi, who has said she will give the Pope cajeta, a candy made of burned milk that resembles caramel. All of these food indications have been his own request; however.
6. Non-armored Cars
Image Source: Associated Press
Pope Francis is known for using modest vehicles during his trips, eschewing limousines for other vehicles that are cheaper. 11 vehicles have been blessed so Pope Francis can travel with other members of the clergy, and despite other security measures, these have not been armored for protection.
7. A Deluge of Hashtags and Memes
“I haven’t arrived to Mexico yet, but I already made the big miracle of paving the streets of Ecatepec”-Image Source: Fusion
The meme above reads: “I haven’t arrived to Mexico yet, but I already made the big miracle of paving the streets of Ecatepec.” Mexicans are masters at discussing their concerns online, and no one is safe from mockery, satire, or double-entendres of any kind. Memes, welcome messages, and other Tweets have already been making rounds. Twitter even designed emojis to be used specifically for Pope Francis’ Mexico trip, and His Holiness also created some tweets of his own.
8. Original Greeting Songs
Image Source: Gianluigi Guercia
Several places Pope Francis will visit have commissioned original songs to greet the Pope. One song, “Francisco es” (Francis Is) is the national Mexican greeting for his visit. These songs don’t limit themselves to church or folk music though, there is even a hip song song amongst one of these songs. Here it is:
Image Source: Elena Scotti
This in and of itself isn’t weird, but it does show the Pope has a sense of humor. A video taken in the Vatican reveals Pope Francis jokingly asking a Mexican visitor if people will greet him with tequila when he arrives for his visit to Mexico. The request was obviously meant to be funny, but it wouldn’t be surprising if people actually greeted him this way. Here is the video of the Pope asking for tequila:
Image Source: Crux
The tickets to visit the Pope were free and raffled, but archbishops and other members of the Catholic church have been warning people against scalpers who might try to take advantage of Pope Francis’ visit. This has happened in the past though, unfortunately.
Now Listen To The Official Song Mexico Composed For The Pope’s Visit:
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