On Sunday morning we took an Uber cab to Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica, which lies in the northern part of Mexico City. It is the single most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. It honors the four visits of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, a humble man who lived at the site which is now the Basilica. The man was not believed until after the fourth visit when his uncle was miraculously healed.

Loren had visited the Basilica earlier and we saw it as a chance to see a different populace from the upscale residents who live around Reforma.

The site has at least four major buildings including the Old Basilica, the Modern Basilica, the Capuchin Nun's Temple and on the hill the Pocito Chapel. It's huge stone plaza can accommodate thousands of people. The Modern Basilica can hold 11,000 celebrants standing at mass.

 

The Old Basilica was started in 1695 and completed in 1706. As it sits on lake bed, it has tilted forward considerably and has a noticeably sloped floor inside. To the right is the Capuchin Nun's Temple. We arrived just as people were working their way into the Modern Basilica for a mid-afternoon Mass.

 

Because of the unstable condition of the Old Basilica, the Modern Basilica was constructed in 1975-1976, Most of the attendees stand for the Mass.

 

A pathway of steps leads up the hill which played a role in the original miracle.

 

 

 

At the top of the hill sits the Pocito Chapel.

 

 

 

Loren came on a mother trying to get a group photo. He offered to take the picture. In a location teeming with people, one does not readily hand over one's prize possession, particularly to a foreigner. With a bit of coaxing, she relented and they were very friendly in the end.

 

The statue of Pope John looks down on weary pilgrims taking a break.

 

We were struck by the people we saw from all over Mexico and certainly other parts of the world. Sharing a common faith, there was a respect and warmth one does not often see in such a large crowd.

 

Where there are masses of people, there are those who provide the food, water and other essentials. Just off the campus was a very busy place.

 

As we waited for our cab, I was struck by the friendly relationship between the flower vendor and a boy waiting for the bus.

 

Back on Reforma I saw one of the nicer Apple Stores I've seen.

 

What was not immediately obvious is that the Mac Store was incorporated into the bottom of the glass tower behind. The city does not let the beautiful old edifices be removed and they must be retained as part of new high rise buildings going into the site.

 

Some of the contrast of Mexico City.

 

In four days I got a glimpse of Mexico City, but just a glimpse. In a city of 21 million people there are many, many aspects of the city I never saw. I saw a beautiful, European style city, comparable to parts of Buenos Aires or Santiago. Most of the city I know is not like that at all. I'm glad I saw what I did and very grateful to Loren for the invitation and being a gracious host. I hope this photo vignette was interesting and perhaps encourages others to visit and enjoy what Mexico City has to offer.

Don Webster