World

Mexico performs first Mass in indigenous Nahuatl language in most prominent basilica

  • A woman wearing traditional indigenous dress carries incense as a procession enters the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. The Basilica celebrated its first ever Mass in the indigenous language of Nahuatl on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

    A woman wearing traditional indigenous dress carries incense as a procession enters the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. The Basilica celebrated its first ever Mass in the indigenous language of Nahuatl on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman holds flowers as she listens to a Mass celebrated in the indigenous language of Nahuatl, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Some parishioners wore crowns of marigolds for Basilica's first ever mass in Nahuatl. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

    A woman holds flowers as she listens to a Mass celebrated in the indigenous language of Nahuatl, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Some parishioners wore crowns of marigolds for Basilica's first ever mass in Nahuatl. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)  (The Associated Press)

  • A priest wearing a crown of bread sways as he sings during the first ever Mass celebrated in the indigenous language of Nahuatl at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Nahuatl is the native language of Mesoamerica, which encompasses parts of today's Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

    A priest wearing a crown of bread sways as he sings during the first ever Mass celebrated in the indigenous language of Nahuatl at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Nahuatl is the native language of Mesoamerica, which encompasses parts of today's Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)  (The Associated Press)

The first Mass conducted in Mexico's most prominent indigenous language has been held in the country's most important church.

Roman Catholic Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during his homily Tuesday at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City that rather than accept and respect the culture of the country's original peoples, they have been scorned.

He pointed out that Nahuatl was the language of Juan Diego, the first indigenous saint, who Catholic tradition says saw the Virgin of Guadalupe nearly 500 years ago. Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego in the same basilica in 2002.

Arizmendi spoke in Spanish and his words were translated to Nahuatl.

He told the congregants that God wants to speak to them in their own language.