That they may be a witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace
The pope decries the “fratricidal wars decimating peoples” as well as destroying “natural and cultural resources.”
“Let us join with our brothers and sisters of this great continent, and pray together that Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace,” he exhorts.
Francis highlights the enormous intellectual, cultural and religious patrimony of the African nations, as well as the joie de vivre and hope that characterizes the African peoples: “When we look at Africa, we see much more than its great natural richness,” he says.
In November 2015, the Holy Father visited Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. Already then, he expressed concern about the growing violence in those countries. “You must be courageous. … Courageous in forgiving, courageous in loving, courageous in building peace,” he told young people there.
He also assured them, “you will win the hardest battle in life; you will win in love.”
Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement, notes how “the Pope has also denounced the shameful silence in the face of the massacres in North Kivu (Democratic Republic of Congo).”
“I was in this region in January of this year,” Father Fornos said. “There are members of the laity, nuns, friars and priests who courageously seek ways of dialogue and peace, denouncing the interests of many and risking their lives. For all of them, the words and prayers of Pope Francis are a great support.”
The Pope’s monthly prayer intentions are published by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which has collaborated for the last year and half to present a video presentation of the intentions, called The Pope Video.
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