Hunger, cyclones and beautiful landscapes: pope will visit African countries in September
Pope Francis will visit Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius from Sept. 4-10.
Mozambique has suffered terrorism, droughts and natural catastrophes. Additionally, the political situation is unstable. It is hoped the pope's visit will help bring peace to the population.
FR. BERNARDO SUATE
Priest of Mozambique
“We hope his visit will be similar to St. John Paul II's visit more than 30 years ago. At that time, we were in civil war and the presence of the pope was a moment to walk toward peace, which came in 1992. We hope for that. Who knows? Maybe a miracle will occur again.”
John Paul II also visited Madagascar in 1989. Pope Francis will follow in his footsteps and will travel to this country. However, in early June, the UN reported the country has suffered 35 cyclones and 13 floods in the last 20 years. Additionally, there are potentially more threats of natural disasters to come. It also said around 1.300,000,000 people there are malnourished.
The Catholics in Madagascar hope his visit will also be an opportunity to rekindle their faith.
FR. EUPHREM AUDREY HASIMANA
Priest of Madagascar
“The pope's visit to Madagascar will help us change our attitude and live out our faith better. On a political level, the trip will bring us reconciliation, peace and hope.”
The care of the environment is a topic close to the pope's heart. UN representative, Ursula Mueller, launched an appeal after visiting this region of Africa and seeing the devastating effects.
“These people must be dead.”
Humanitarian Affairs, UN
“We are in climate crisis that was not caused by the people who are the most vulnerable and who are the most affected. We need to address the climate challenge.”
The island of Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean, will be Pope Francis' final stop. The country is more stable than its neighbors. It is a destination for thousands of newlywed couples who travel there to see its beautiful landscapes. It will be a pastoral visit to reaffirm the faith of the small Catholic community in a mostly Hindu-country.