Mexicans are flocking to the largest Roman Catholic shrine in the Americas to pay respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe and ask for her help in easing the world's economic crisis.

More than 5 million people are expected to visit the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City, many crawling or bearing images of the virgin.

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Worshipper Jessica Galarza said Friday she would ask Latin America's patron saint to end the global financial turmoil.

Rev. Diego Monroy asked the virgin during Mass to help Mexico cope with a wave of drug violence.

Millions make the pilgrimage from across Mexico every year. The virgin is said to have appeared to Indian peasant Juan Diego in December 1531.