Peace, Reconciliation and Vocational Renewal Mark Pope’s First Day in Africa

Tags: Currents Mozambique, Pope Francis, World News

By Melissa Butz

On his first full day in Mozambique, Pope Francis kicked off his morning with a visit to the country’s leaders.

His first words expressed his closeness to those who were affected by cyclones Idai and Kenneth. He is unable to visit them due to the length of the trip.

Then he directed words of peace and reconciliation toward the country, who signed an agreement to end decades of hostility last month, ahead of national elections in October.

“I want also to express my personal gratitude, and that of the larger international community, for the efforts made in recent decades to ensure that peace is once more the norm, and reconciliation the best path to confront the difficulties and challenges that you face as a nation,” said Francis.

He reminded them peace must be sought after, so neighbors can coexist, ensuring a future of hope.

Secondly, Pope Francis met with young people from every religion represented in Mozambique. He began by encouraging them, saying “You are important! You need to know this. You need to believe it.”

Pope Francis advised them to hold on to their joy and be weary of resignation and anxiety, which can ruin a person’s life. He encouraged the Muslims, Christians and Hindus to dialogue together.

His day concluded at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with Catholic religious who welcomed him with singing.

The Pope asked them to renew their vocational “yes,” especially when faced with societal difficulties.

“We are called to face reality as it is. This world can drive you to take a route without real meaning, without direction, without clear goals, and thus thwart many of your efforts,” added the Holy Father.

Pope Francis invited them to seek out silence, especially in moments of intense service and exhaustion.

He blessed the excited attendees before leaving to conclude his first day in Mozambique.