February 11, 2023 (GMN) - Pope Francis' apostolic journey to South Sudan concluded with the celebration of Holy Mass in Juba on Sunday morning.
Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to the East African nation on Sunday, Feb, 05,2023. He ended the long-awaited and postponed journey with words of encouragement and hope for the impoverished and war-ravaged people, telling them never to forget that Jesus knows their pain and loves them.
During his stay in Juba, he also had strong words for the country’s leadership, openly expressing his disappointment for not having honored the pledges they had made to cement peace and work for reconciliation and development.
His voice wasn’t a solitary one: his visit took the form of an ecumenical pilgrimage for peace in the company of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Together they prayed with the people and called for unity; the three voices were one issuing a powerful appeal for peace and reconciliation in the divided nation. Together they challenged the country’s political leaders to stand true to their pledges to work for the common good, and to shy away from corruption and personal benefits.
The joy of the people for the Pope’s presence, anyone who watched footage of the events during the Pope’s presence in Juba saw that, notwithstanding dismal living conditions, desperate poverty, and a seeming lack of future, the people of South Sudan appeared incredibly joyful.