More Than 1 Million Attend Pope’s Mass in Mexico

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Pope Francis celebrates an open-air mass in Ecatepec on February 14, 2016. Pope Francis has chosen to visit some of Mexico's most troubled regions during his five-day trip to the world's second most populous Catholic country. (Credit: HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis Sunday traveled to one of Mexico’s most dangerous and impoverished cities to tell the faithful that they must not negotiate with “the devil” and that embracing God will protect against the divided, conflictive societies that imperil the world.

He also paid recognition to Christians slain for their faith, “martyrs,” from centuries ago and from today—an allusion to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa, one of Francis’ great preoccupations.

More than a million people are believed to have attended the pope’s Mass, inside the venue and outdoors, in this scruffy suburb of the Mexican capital, braving cold temperatures in the morning to fan out over a wide area of the city, across block after block, to receive the first pope from the Americas.

“You cannot dialogue with the devil,” the pope said in his homily, departing, as he often does, from his prepared text. “He will always win.”

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