The Holy Father Pope Francis concluded three days visit South Sudan with ecumenical prayers on Sunday that marked the end of his six day Apostolic Journey to Africa
Thousands of Christians from different denominations attended the Mass at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum where some of them slept away from their homes to ensure they don’t miss the prayers.
Pope tells the congregations that you will be salt that spreads, dissolves and seasons South Sudan with the fraternal taste of the Gospel.
“May your Christian communities shine radiantly, so that, like cities built on a hill, they will shed the light of goodness on all and show that it is beautiful and possible to live with generosity and self-giving, to have hope, and together to build a reconciled future,” Pope preached.
His Holiness was speaking to the nation through the word of God telling the people to apply the salt of forgiveness to our wounds; salt burns but it also heals.
“Even if our hearts bleed for the wrongs we have suffered, let us refuse, once and for all, to repay evil with evil, and we will grow healthy within.
He called the South Sudanese to accept and love one another with sincerity and generosity, as God loves them. “Let us cherish the good that we are, and not allow ourselves to be corrupted by evil,” Pope reiterated.
Pope urges South Sudanese not to lose hope as Christians across the world pray for peace to prevail in this young nation on earth
“I return to Rome with you even closer to my heart. Let me repeat: you are in my heart, you are in our hearts, and you are in the hearts of Christians worldwide! Never lose hope. And lose no opportunity to build peace. May hope and peace dwell among you. May hope and peace dwell in South Sudan,” he said.
Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby tells Christians to practice unity among themselves and stop divisions.
“Being one’ is something we must all practice, and yet it is particularly the responsibility of leaders. Leaders have the power to act on what others say; they can make the choice to listen to others or not; they can model valuing those who are different from them, or they can stoke divisions,” Welby said.
Welby said the conflict in South Sudan has united the Church to speak with one voice.
“My dear brothers, Pope Francis, Moderator Iain and I are here as part of your family, your fellowship, to be with you and share with you in your suffering. We have travelled on this Pilgrimage of Peace in a way that has not been done before ever.”
The Church leaders are deeply concerned with South Sudanese suffering mostly women they described as people on top of the grief of conflict, many live with the trauma of sexual violence and the daily fear of mistreatment in their own homes.
“May God inspire us with your example and enable us to offer you the care and value Jesus gave to women all around him.”
Pope Francis arrived in South Sudan on Friday to fulfil his promise for a long-awaited “ecumenical pilgrimage” for peace to South Sudan.
His Holiness came along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields to preach peace.