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Pope recalls highlights of his trip to Colombia during the General Audience

In his first General Audience since his return from Colombia, Pope Francis highlighted three main events from the trip: His warm welcome from the youth, the beatification of two martyrs, and Christian mission and discipleship. 

He also recalled that the trip's motto, “Let us Take the First Step.” was an “appeal to the nation to discover in its deep Christian roots the spiritual resources needed to advance the work of healing and rebuilding.”


Dear Brothers and Sisters:

My recent Pastoral Visit to Colombia, in the footsteps of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, sought to encourage the process of reconciliation in that country following a half century of conflict and division.

Its motto – Let us Take the First Step – was also an appeal to the nation to discover in its deep Christian roots the spiritual resources needed to advance the work of healing and rebuilding.

In Bogotá, I was warmly welcomed, especially by the young, who are the future of the country. The Beatification of two martyrs and the reconciliation service celebrated in Villavicencio were particularly moving.

In Medellín, the emphasis was on Christian discipleship and mission, exemplified in the help given to youth through the Hogares group homes and in the faces of the many young men and women who are responding to Jesus’ call to the priesthood and the consecrated life.

In Cartagena, the example of Saints Peter Claver and Maria Bernarda Bütler reaffirmed our evangelical commitment to human promotion and the defense of human rights. Through the prayers of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, Patroness of Columbia, may the nation continue to progress in the way of peace in love, justice and truth.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you,and your families, I invoke joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.