Pope Francis received a roaring applause at his first General Audience after his trip to Mongolia.
The Pope explained why he traveled so far to visit a small Catholic community. He said Mongolia's Christian roots connect to the evanglizing mission of the Church—a theme that has been present in his most recent catecheses.
That community has a touching history. It emerged, by God's grace, from the apostolic zeal—which we are reflecting on at this time—of some missionaries who, passionate about the Gospel, about 30 years ago went to a country they did not know. They learned its language, which is not easy to do. Even though they came from different nations, they gave birth to a united and truly Catholic community.
Pope Francis said his visit was enriching and he met a people who do not necessarily think like the West.
I've been to the heart of Asia, and it's been good for me. It is good to enter into dialogue with that great continent, to grasp its messages, to know its wisdom, its way of looking at things, of embracing time and space.
During his greeting to English speaking pilgrims, the Pope expressed his condolences for the tragic fire in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 31, while he was traveling to Mongolia.
I would like to add that it was with great sorrow that I read about the fire that broke out in a five-story building in the center of the city of Johannesburg in South Africa in which more than seventy people died, including several children. I invite you to join me in prayer for the victims. And to the family members, I express my condolences.
The Pope bade farewell by imparting a blessing to the pilgrims.