Pope receives magnificent welcome in Colombia!
Shortly after 11 a.m. Rome time, Pope Francis embarked on his twentieth international apostolic journey. This time, he went to Colombia.
The Pastor One, Pope Francis' plane, landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule at Bogotá airport.
He was received by the highest civil authorities in the country headed by their president, Juan Manuel Santos, and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodríguez. The Colombian bishops were also present with an affectionate greeting for the pope.
The first words the pope and Colombian president exchanged touched on the climate, since the papal airplane had to deviate from the route initially planned due to Hurricane Irma advancing in the Caribbean.
Next, one-by-one the pope hugged each member of this group of young people who waved white handkerchiefs, before he similarly greeted a large delegation of politicians from the country. Then the dances began and the joy could not be contained.
Pope Francis then devoted himself to especially greet some sick and wounded soldiers and their families, all of whom were very excited.
However, the affectionate greetings and expressions from the Colombians did not stop there.
"Welcome, Papa, welcome."
Then the pope climbed on the popemobile and toured the streets of Bogotá, where many tried to keep up with him by running alongside.
Pope Francis is the third pope to visit Colombia after Paul VI, who traveled to the country in 1968 and John Paul II who did it in 1986.