By; Jjunju Francis
04th September 2019
Pope Francis is in Mozambique for the second day of his trip to the three-nation tour of Indian Ocean African countries hard hit by poverty, conflict and natural disaster.
He arrived in Mozambique last evening and welcomed by tens of thousands along with their president Filipe Jacinto Nyusi. He immediately headed to the Nunciature in the center of the city.
His Apostolic Visit officially begins today morning with a courtesy visit to the President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, a meeting with civil authorities and members of the Diplomatic Corps, and an interreligious prayer meeting with young people.
Later in the afternoon, the Pope is to meet with Mozambique’s bishops, and a representation of priests, men and women religious, consecrated persons, seminarians, catechists and parish lay leaders.
He will lead mass on Friday at the giant Zimpeto stadium in the seaside capital Maputo that is expected to bring together over 90,000 people.
The pope is expected to address the country’s fragile peace process, today the devastation caused by two back-to-back cyclones Idai early this year, and the upcoming general election in October.
The three-day tour comes a month after the Mozambique government signed a historic peace treaty with the former rebel group Renamo, which is now the main opposition party to end the 17 year gollira war.
The pope will also visit the large Indian Ocean island of Madagascar on September 6th and its much smaller neighbour Mauritius for only 8 hours – both situated off the eastern coast of Africa.
Mozambique has spent 300,000 Euros ($330 000) for the trip, according to Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco, including repairs to Maputo’s cathedral and city roads.