Democratic Republic of Congo – Pope Francis encourages nation: "Your Country is a diamond of Creation; but you are all infinitely more precious”

01 February 2023
Photo ©: Vatican News

(ANS - Kinshasa) - The 40th apostolic journey of Pope Francis began yesterday, 31 January 2023, with destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Thousands of people, from the sidewalks or from the roofs of houses, welcomed the Pope as he moved around the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And the Holy Father did not fail to show them his affection: “Dear Congolese women and men, your country is truly a diamond of Creation; but you, all of you, are infinitely more precious than any goods that springs from this fertile ground!” he said during the meeting with the authorities, with civil society and with the diplomatic corps in the garden of the Palace of the Nation.

“A genuine but rough diamond arises from the earth, in need of processing,” continued Pope Francis. “Thus, even the most precious diamonds of the Congolese land, who are the children of this nation, must be able to take advantage of valid educational opportunities, which allow them to make full use of the brilliant talents they have. Education is fundamental: it is the way to the future, the way to take to achieve full freedom in this country and the African continent.”

“All reconciled in Jesus Christ” is the motto of the logo of the trip to the DR Congo. Today, 1 February, after the celebration of the Eucharist at the "Ndolo" airport, meetings are scheduled, both at the Apostolic Nunciature, with the victims of the guerrilla warfare in the east of the country and subsequently with the representatives of some charitable organizations operating in the territory.

Tomorrow the Pope will meet young people and catechists at the "Stadium of the Martyrs" and then will go to the Cathedral "Notre Dame du Congo" for prayer with the priests, deacons, consecrated men and women and seminarians. The day will end with a private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature.

On February 3, before leaving by plane for Juba, the capital of South Sudan, he will live his last moments on Congolese soil with the Bishops, at the headquarters of CENCO, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo.

With these two nations, 60 countries will have been visited during his Pontificate by the Holy Father, who arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo 37 years after the visit of Pope John Paul II.


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