Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin arrived in South Sudan greeted by cheers.
The Vatican's top diplomat traveled to the capital city of Juba to meet with the country's political and Church leaders to make a plea for peace in the country on behalf of Pope Francis.
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said in his meeting with the Cardinal that he is committed to holding a peaceful, fair, and transparent election in 2023.
In recent years, South Sudan has been mired by bloody civil conflicts that have displaced nearly one-third of the country's population.
Achieving peace in South Sudan has been an ardent hope for Pope Francis, who invited the leaders of the warring factions to the Vatican in 2019 for a spiritual retreat to encourage reconciliation, and in a surprise gesture, kissed their feet to implore them to seek peace.
The Pope continues to thrust South Sudan into the international spotlight, as he did before the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for his Christmas Urbi et Orbi blessing.
Alleviate the pain of our many brothers and sisters who suffer from internal conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan.
Should Pope Francis' knee improve, the Vatican has said the trip will be rescheduled and that Pope Francis will travel to the Christian-majority country with the moderator of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Iain Greenshields, and the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.