Pope Francis’ Apostolic visit to Mexico which ended on February 17th reminded people and local media about St. John Paul II. They admit that although the Argentine Pope won over many people, the memory of Pope-Pole is still alive.
Both, largest newspapers and TV channels, during transmissions from the current visit repeatedly recalled Karol Wojtyła and His visits to this country.
In street inquires and interviews with Mexicans carried out along the route of the Pope’s travel, people often stressed out their strong bond with John Paul II. They reminded that five times He visited their country, tightening ties with Mexicans already during His first apostolic trip in January 1979.
In media, often the titles by which He was described during His life were used: “Pope-Mexican”, “Good Pope”, “Always Faithful.” People often claimed that despite the great popularity of Francis, John Paul II is for Mexicans more charismatic. Salesmen were also cited stating that sales of papal souvenirs were significantly higher during visits of Polish Pope in their country.
Mexican media agree that the Francis’ pilgrimage which took place from February 12-17 has been a success. The visit met with a great interest in the media and on social networks. They note that on Wednesday, February 17, nine accounts of the Holy Father on Twitter reported a record number of 27 million supporters, among which as many as 11.1 million likes were from the Spanish-speaking people.
Francis was the third Pope who visited Mexico. John Paul II visited this country five times: in 1979 (January 26-31), 1990 (May 6-13), 1993 (August 11-12), 1999 (January 22-26) and 2002 (July 30 – August 1), and from March 23-26, Pope Benedict XVI visited this country.