Crowds cheer pope as he heads to gritty suburb for outdoor Mass

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Pope Francis is starting his second full day in Mexico with a healthy dose of the country’s hospitality. There are songs, cheers and chants as he starts his journey to the gritty suburb of Ecatepec, where he’ll preside over the largest Mass of his visit.

Some of the chants echo those that greeted his predecessor John Paul II, who was especially beloved in Mexico. Among them are calls of “Francis, brother, now you are Mexican,” a phrase that rhymes in Spanish.

The pope walked out of the nuncio’s residence to bless and kiss people waiting there: families with children, people in wheelchairs.

Beaming and animated, he headed out on his motorcade in an open popemobile – seemingly revived after appearing worn out during Mass Saturday afternoon at the Basilica of Guadalupe.

Shortly after leaving, he stopped to plunge into the excited crowd along the street.

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