Pope Francis on Sunday joined some two and a half thousand priests, religious, seminarians, consecrated lay people and members of ecclesial movements to pray before the relics of the Peruvian Saints in Lima’s Cathedral of Saint John the Apostle.
The relics of Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, and Saint John Macias were brought from Santo Domingo Convent. Those of Saint Francis Solanus - enshrined at the Archbishop's Museum – were also put on display and placed besides the presbytery.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, located in the historic center of Lima was built in 1535 after Francisco Pizarro laid the first stone.
The building has suffered the devastating consequences of the earthquakes which have rocked Lima.
Above one of its oldest altars is the image of Our Lady of Evangelization, a gift from Emperor Carlos V. In Her hand, She holds a golden rose placed by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1988 during his second trip to the country.
This is the prayer offered by Pope Francis before the Relics:
God our Father,
through Jesus Christ
you founded your Church
on the rock of the Apostles,
that, guided by the Holy Spirit,
she may be a sign and instrument
of your love and mercy in the world:
we thank you for the gifts you have
bestowed upon our Church in Lima.
We thank you in a special way
for the holiness that has flourished in our land.
Our Archdiocesan Church has been made fruitful
by the apostolic labours of Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo,
enlarged by the prayer, penance and charity
of Saint Rose of Lima and Saint Martin de Porres,
adorned by the missionary zeal of Saint Francisco Solano
and the humble service of Saint Juan Macías.
It has been blessed by the witness of Christian life and fidelity to the Gospel
of many others of our brothers and sisters.
We give you thanks for all that you have accomplished in our history
and we ask you to keep us faithful to the heritage we have received.
Help us to be a Church that goes forth,
drawing near to all, especially the less fortunate.
Teach us to be missionary disciples
of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Miracles,
living in love, seeking unity
and practising mercy,
so that, protected by the intercession
of Our Lady of Evangelization,
we may live the joy of the Gospel
and proclaim it before the world.