Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Thursday invited Mozambicans to cherish the blessing of peace after decade-long instability in the country, in order to take good care of its citizens and drive the country out of poverty.

Pope Francis, who arrived Wednesday evening for a three day visit in Mozambique, made the remarks at the presidential palace in Maputo where he had a private meeting with President Filipe Nyusi, and other dignitaries.

Over the years, Mozambicans learned that to secure a lasting peace is a mission that involves everyone, for peace “is like a fragile flower that seeks to bloom among the stones of violence”, said the Pope.

“A culture of peace implies a productive, sustainable and inclusive development, where every Mozambican can feel that this country is his own (homeland), and in which he can establish relations of fraternity and equity with his neighbor and all that surrounds him,” added Francis.

Therefore, he encouraged people to “continue to affirm with determination but without fanaticism, with courage but without exaltation, with tenacity but in an intelligent way: no to violence that destroys, yes to peace and reconciliation”.

He also urged those in power to recognize, ensure and rebuild the dignity of those forgotten or ignored in order for them to feel as the main actors of the destiny of the nation.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that “without equal opportunity, the various forms of aggression and war will find fertile ground that will sooner or later cause the explosion. When society leaves a part of itself in the periphery, there will be no political programs, no forces of the order or secret services that can guarantee the tranquility indefinitely,” said the Pope.

In turn, Mozambique’s president told the Holy Father that “the efforts made by the Mozambicans are essentially aimed at building a nation where nonviolence becomes a culture lived by all, where politics is done through the force of argument and not the force of arms”.

Mozambican government and opposition Renamo signed last month a definitive peace agreement ending a long period political instability.

It was the second time for Mozambique to receive the Vatican’s pontiff, the first time was in 1989 when Pope John Paul II visited the country.

Pope Francis later met with the youth and will hold on Friday a mass, before he leaves the country towards Madagascar, his second leg of the three country tour in Africa. Enditem

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