First Catholic Mass Held in Native Nahuatl Language
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October 16, 2015

A woman wearing traditional indigenous dress carries incense as a procession enters the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. (AP/Rebecca Blackwell)

The first Mass conducted in Mexico's most prominent indigenous language has been held in the country's most important church.

Roman Catholic Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during his homily Tuesday at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City that rather than accept and respect the culture of the country's original peoples, they have been scorned.

He pointed out that Nahuatl was the language of Juan Diego, the first indigenous saint, who Catholic tradition says saw the Virgin of Guadalupe nearly 500 years ago. Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego in the same basilica in 2002.

Arizmendi spoke in Spanish and his words were translated to Nahuatl. He told the congregants that God wants to speak to them in their own language.

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