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In a homily during a Mass in Juarez, on the other side of El Paso, Texas, the pope begged for a transformation to mercy in the name of the Jubilee Year.
The pope asked day laborers and employers in Juárez to collaborate and determine the legacy they would leave for future generations; he also defended Catholic social teaching.
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico -- a city notorious for a recent four-year battle among local cartels, resulting in more than 10,000 killings -- will host Pope Francis Feb. 17.
The pope will seek to bring hope to a country suffering from crime, corruption and inequality when he visits Feb. 12-17.