With excitement, hundreds of thousands of Catholics and other Christians in Mozambique and neighbouring states in Southern Africa have welcomed Pope Francis to Mozambique where he arrived Wednesday, on his first leg of tour of Africa.
The Pope is now visiting Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius up to Tuesday next week, when he will end the tour in Southern Africa, the fourth visit to the African continent since his election to lead the Catholic Church.
Reports said that the Holy Father had conducted prayers in Mozambique just before leaving for Madagascar, an island country located in the Indian Ocean about 250 miles off the African coast.
The Pope is expected to continue his three-nation visit to Southern Africa to address extreme poverty and the better ways these African states could utilize their resources to bring development to their people.
Vatican said that the pontiff’s tour in Africa is “Pilgrimage of Hope, Peace and Reconciliation”.
Hundreds of thousands of people across Southern Africa follow the pontiff’s visit in Mozambique via local and international television channels, newspapers and other media outlets, while others traveled from neighboring countries to attend the Holy Mass in Maputo.
In Tanzania, crowds of people including youths, women and men gathered at various areas, including recreational halls, to watch the Pope’s visit in Mozambique as well.
It is the second visit by the Holy Father to Africa, South of Sahara after such a visit to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic about four years ago.
The Catholic Church is the leading institution to provide education and health services to the people from Tanzania to other states in Southern Africa.