Africa trip planted seeds of hope: Pope

Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square yesterday (CNS/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

Having gone to Africa as a pilgrim of peace and hope, Pope Francis said he hoped the seeds planted there by his visit would bear abundant fruit for everyone. Source: CNS.

Following in the footsteps of evangelising saints before him, the Pope said he sought to bring with him “the leaven of Christ” and his Gospel, which is “the most powerful leaven of fraternity, justice and peace for all people.”

Speaking to some 12,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square yesterday, the Pope dedicated his general audience talk to a review of some of the highlights from his September 4-10 visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.

The Pope said he wanted to “sow the seeds of hope, peace and reconciliation” in Mozambique, which had experienced two devastating cyclones recently and 15 years of civil war.

While the Church continues to guide the nation along the path of peace, the Pope made special mention of the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, which had facilitated the mediation process that resulted in the nation’s 1992 peace agreement.

He said he encouraged Mozambique’s leaders to keep working together for the common good, and he noted how he saw that kind of cooperation in action at a hospital he visited that helps people, especially mothers and children with HIV and AIDS.

“I saw that the patients were the most important thing” at the Sant’Egidio-run centre, which was staffed by people of different religious beliefs. Everyone worked together, “united, like brothers and sisters,” he said.

Reflecting on Madagascar, the Pope noted how beautiful and rich in natural resources the country was, but that it was still marked by tremendous poverty.

He said he asked that the people there would be inspired by their “traditional spirit of solidarity” in order to overcome the obstacles they face and foster development that respect both the environment and social justice.

Pope Francis said he wanted to visit Mauritius because it has become “a place of integration between different ethnicities and cultures” with strong bonds of friendship among the leaders of different religions.

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Africa trip planted new seeds of hope, Pope says at audience (CNS

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