The musicians and dancers were still tooting and twirling merrily as we approached the Basilica, where i was able to obtain an inexpensive tea-towel sized ‘standard’ of Our Lady at one of the souvenir stalls. Sunday Mass, packed this time, was celebrated by a Cardinal (i think). Then after a tasty lunch, in the afternoon i spent a couple of hours on the internet, and noticed a news item about the recent arrest in northern Mexico of a 34 year-old former policeman called Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, known as El Diego, who had confessed to ordering the murders of 1500 people over a four year period, in his capacity as enforcer for the Juarez narcotics cartel. The news otherwise still seemed pre-occupied with the appalling massacre perpetrated by Anders Breivik in Norway just over a week before, but really, the difference between him and El Diego is that of an amateur, as opposed to a professional killer.
|Josip Broz Tito|
Amid the wealth of fascinating places associated with Mexico’s pre- and post-Columbian history, the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan is prominent in the capital region, but various things (like postcards) made it impossible for me to get there in the time available. Instead though, on Thursday 4thAugust (dedicated to the Curé of Ars, St John Marie Vianney), my last full day in Mexico, after Mass in the Basilica i stumbled across a little museum dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe - less headline-generating than a pyramid perhaps, but no less enchanting. It contains dozens of paintings, engravings and sculptures by artists from every echelon of society, and spanning at least four centuries, testifying to Mexico’s enduring devotion to the Tepeyac Madonna. Back in the new Basilica, kneeling before the image seered onto the fabric of St Juan Diego’s tilma, called by Blessed John Paul II the Star of the New Evangelisation, i said the following prayer, by way of farewell and in thanksgiving to the Blessed Mother with Child for whom i had undertaken my quest:
|La Virgen de Guadalupe with St Juan Diego, Tabernacle Church, Zocalo, Mexico City|
“Look at the star, call upon Mary … With her for guide, you shall not go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart … if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favour, you shall reach the goal.” —St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
 “…founded in Belgrade in 1961, and largely the brainchild of Yugoslavia's president, Josip Broz Tito; Indonesia's first president, Sukarno; Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah; and India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. All five leaders were prominent advocates of a middle course for states in the Developing World between the Westernand Eastern blocs in the Cold War. The phrase itself was first used to represent the doctrine by Indian diplomat and statesman V.K. Krishna Menon in 1953, at the United Nations.”[Wikipedia]