A jubilant crowd at Maputo Airport in Mozambique welcomed Pope Francis as he begins his first part of his week-long tour of three African and Indian Ocean countries, including Mauritius and Madagascar.
His visit is revered by the catholic community.
“I’m so moved that I saw Pope Francis, I can’t even describe him,” said Mariah Francisco Chirindza, Catholic resident of Maputo
I'm so moved that I saw Pope Francis.
“It would be nice if the Pope would come and greet us here where we are waiting, but I don’t expect that, it’s just a great honor to be here. There are many who would like to be here, but couldn’t make it,” Catarina Simbine, Catholic resident of Maputo.
Received by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and members of the national clergy, the Pontiff plans to meet with political, religious and civil actors to discuss peace-related issues in a country heavily affected by conflict, poverty and natural disasters.
A country of more than 30 million inhabitants, 50% of whom are Christians, This is for the second time Mozambique receives a Pope, after John Paul II visited in 1988.