Pope Francis during his Angelus on Sunday invited the faithful to pray for the African nation of South Sudan which he said, he wished to visit next year. The Pope had already expressed this wish during an audience with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.
Speaking to the faithful in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said he wished to renew his invitation “to all those involved in the national political process to seek what unites and to overcome what divides, in a spirit of true brotherhood.” He also recalled the spiritual retreat for the Authorities of the country, which took place in the Vatican last April.
The Pontiff said “the South Sudanese people have suffered too much in recent years and look forward with great hope to a better future, especially the definitive end of conflicts and lasting peace. I therefore urge those responsible to continue, tirelessly, with their commitment to an inclusive dialogue in the search for consensus for the good of the nation.” The Pope expressed the hope that the international community would not neglect to accompany South Sudan on the path to national reconciliation.
Following its independence in 2011, South Sudan erupted into civil war in 2013. The President Salva Kiir accused his Vice-President Rieck Machar of orchestrating a coup against him. Up to 400,000 people have been killed and more than 4 million displaced in the conflict.
Prayers for Bolivia
After the recitation of the Hail Mary, Pope Francis also invited people to pray for Bolivia, near he said, to his homeland.
The South American country has been engulfed in political unrest following disputed results of an October 20 election.
A number of people have died as a result of the violence and more than 300 have been injured.
The Pope called on all Bolivians, particularly political and social actors, “to wait constructively and unconditionally, in a climate of peace and serenity, for the results of the process of revising the elections, which is currently under way. In peace.”
A new Saint and Blessed
Turning his attention to Granada in Spain, Pope Francis invited the faithful to applaud Blessed Maria Emilia Riquelme y Zayas, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and of Mary Immaculate, who was proclaimed Blessed on Saturday. He also recalled a Mass of thanksgiving being celebrated on Sunday for the equipollent canonization of St. Bartholomew Fernandes of the Martyrs. The new Blessed, he said was exemplary in the fervor of Eucharistic adoration and generous in the service of the neediest, while the new Saint was a great evangelizer and pastor of his people.