Grata Franciscus Pontifex – Karibu Papa Francis

Grata Franciscus Pontifex – Karibu Papa Francis  That was the headline today, published in Latin and Swahili, from one of Kenya’s main newspapers, welcoming Pope Francis on his first trip to Africa.  Our Holy Father was received in Nairobi today, beginning his intense three-country tour of Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, which will conclude on Monday.  The Vatican has said that his itinerary for visiting the Central African Republic is subject to change, or even cancellation, depending on the situation there, where violence between Muslims and Christians has been particularly brutal.  On the flight to Kenya this morning, when asked by a reporter if he had security concerns, the pope joked that was more worried about mosquito bites.

Please pray for the safety of our Holy Father, and for a fruitful visit.  The Church is thriving in Africa, and millions of faithful are expected to turn out for his visit.  Here is the official prayer from the Kenyan bishops, which they have asked all the faithful to pray:

Almighty and ever-living father, You chose your servant Pope Francis as the successor of Apostle Peter and Shepard of your flock.

Look favourably, we pray, on his pastoral visit to our nation Kenya. Inspire us to receive him well.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts to be generous and receptive to his message and encouragement.

Grant that he may be for us, your people, a visible bond of unity which brings healing and reconciliation, love and peace; So that in you, the Shepard of Souls, all may know the truth and attain eternal life. 

Amen.

Click here for the Pope’s address to the Nairobi State House.

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