SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) — The latest on Pope Francis' visit to Mexico (all times local):
Pope Francis is back in Mexico City after a day-long trip to southern Chiapas state. He rode from the airport to the Vatican ambassador's residence in the small, white Fiat he has been using sometimes.
Francis had the car stop outside the gates of the residence and he got out to bless and embrace the faithful, including the ill, elderly and people with disabilities.
He made a few remarks that he started in Italian before switching to Spanish.
The pope told the crowd: "Let us all pray to the Virgin to take good care of us."
Then before heading inside for the night, Francis added his usual refrain: "Don't forget to pray for me."
Pope Francis has ended his visit to Mexico's impoverished Chiapas state after denouncing the exploitation and exclusion of indigenous people and celebrating Mass in three native languages.
The pontiff is flying back to Mexico City to spend the night. On Tuesday morning, he plans to go to the city of Morelia in the gang-plagued state of Michoacan. There he will visit the cathedral and celebrate Mass with priests, seminarians and religious men and women.
Francis used his visit to Chiapas to celebrate indigenous cultures. He also prayed before the tomb of controversial Bishop Samuel Ruiz, who ministered to Mexico's poorest and supported blending indigenous ways into Catholic rituals, much to the dismay of Mexico's church hierarchy and occasionally the Vatican.
5: 30 p.m.
Pope Francis is warning of the presence in modern society of ideologies that seek to destroy the family and is calling for its protection.
In a meeting with families Monday in southeast Mexico, the pontiff criticized ideas that promoted isolation in society and weaken the family structure.
Leaving his prepared speech, Francis said that with such ideas "we end up being colonies of ideologies that destroy the family, the family nucleus that is the healthy base of all society."
He said he understands that it is not always easy to live in a family but that it is worthwhile trying to do so.
He said: "I prefer a wounded family that strives every day to unite in love to a society sickened by closure and the comfort of fearing to love."
The meeting with Mexican families was his last public event of the day.
Pope Francis has prayed before the tomb of a controversial bishop whose support for incorporating indigenous elements into Catholic liturgy made him a beloved figure among Indians but a controversial cleric in Mexico and at the Vatican.
The Vatican spokesman says Francis joined a procession of sick people in praying before the tomb of Samuel Ruiz in the cathedral of San Cristobal de las Casas on Monday in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas.
Ruiz died in 2011. He had ministered to indigenous people in Chiapas for four decades and ran afoul of the Mexican church hierarchy for his inclusion of indigenous traditions in Catholic rites.
After Ruiz retired, the Vatican suspended ordinations of married deacons in his diocese, which he had championed. Francis recently lifted the ban.
The pope celebrated a Mass in appreciation for indigenous culture Monday.
The Vatican says Pope Francis has presented a decree to Mexican indigenous peoples approving the use of the Aztec language Nahuatl in Mass.
Francis celebrated a Mass in three other indigenous languages Monday during a visit to the southern state of Chiapas — Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Chol. Official approval for those languages is still pending.
But the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, tells reporters that the fact that Francis celebrated a Mass in which readings, prayers and the Gospel were read out in those languages is a sign that they are allowed to be used.
Indigenous Mexicans are thanking Pope Francis for visiting them in the southern state of Chiapas, saying it calls attention to their culture and reality, which often go ignored.
A message read during Monday's Mass says that while many others have scorned indigenous people, Francis has "taken them into consideration." It draws a comparison to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's widely beloved patron saint, who is said to have appeared before the Indian peasant Juan Diego in 1531.
They also thank him for a Vatican decree authorizing their languages to be used for Catholic rites. They say that "in this way we can understand, hear what God wants to tell us" and "talk to him, each one in his own language."
Francis devoted part his homily at the Mass in San Cristobal de las Casas to criticizing centuries-old exploitation and social exclusion of Mexico's indigenous.
Francis was referred to as "Tatik" on several occasions, a Tzotzil word meaning "father."
Pope Francis is denouncing how Mexico's Indians have been exploited and excluded from society for centuries and says the world instead should learn from their culture and deep appreciation for Mother Nature.
Francis was celebrating Mexico's Indians with a deeply symbolic visit Monday to the state of Chiapas, a center of indigenous culture. He celebrated Mass in the three main native languages of the region thanks to a new Vatican decree authorizing their use.
In his homily, history's first Latin American pope melded two of his core concerns: appreciation for America's indigenous cultures and the need to care for the environment.
He said: "We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history." And he added, "In this regard, you have much to teach us."
Under clear blue skies Pope Francis is celebrating Mass in a sports complex in the mountain city of San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
Crowds chanted "Francis friend, San Cristobal is with you" as Francis arrived. Some 500,000 faithful are expected to see the pope in San Cristobal with about 100,000 of those gathered on the dirt field for the Mass.
The soft ethereal sounds of marimbas accompanied the opening the Mass in front of a replica of the brilliant yellow and red facade of the cathedral. Francis is scheduled to visit the real cathedral later in the day.
Bernardo Rangel on the staff of the pope's visit said Francis will be given two gifts: one, the first Bible translated from Spanish to an indigenous Mexican language, Tzotzil; and another Bible, the first translated to Nahuatl, another indigenous language.
Pope Francis has arrived by helicopter in the Mexican mountain town of San Cristobal de las Casas, a center of Mayan indigenous culture.
Throngs of the faithful have gathered at a sports center where he'll celebrate a Mass aimed at the country's marginalized Indian people.
The San Cristobal diocese was long led by the late Bishop Samuel Ruiz, who was famed for his efforts to evangelize among Chiapas state's Indian communities — and who sometimes clashed with church leaders for allegedly bending church policy to reach out to them.
Thousands of people lined up overnight and many slept out to get into the sports center where Pope Francis will say Mass in the Chiapas state town of San Cristobal de las Casas.
Officials opened the doors at 1 a.m. ahead of the Mass, which is aimed largely at the state's indigenous communities.
Jose Transito Aguilar is a Tojolabal farmer from the district of the Montebello lakes. He says he travelled six hours to reach the site.
He says "the pope seeks unity; he doesn't distinguish between people."