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Thousands of pilgrims flock to pope's Mass in Mexico's Catholic heartland
SILAO, Mexico (AP) ' Thousands of Mexicans are gathering to attend the highlight of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to this violence-troubled country: an open-air Mass in the shadow of the Christ the King monument.
Pilgrims are walking for miles with plastic lawn chairs, jugs of water and knapsacks full of food to the sun-parched park where Benedict will celebrate Mass with bishops and cardinals from across the Americas.
Roads were closed Sunday for security.
Benedict will fly over and bless the Christ the King monument. The statue is one of the most important symbols of Mexican Catholicism and a reminder of the 1926-1929 Catholic uprising against the government.
The anti-clerical laws of the time prohibited public Masses like the one Benedict will celebrate.