Students and Pope to Pray Rosary for Africa

Various Countries Joining Together Via Satellite

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2009 ( Today, after praying the midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict XVI extended an invitation to university students of Rome to pray the rosary «with Africa and for Africa.»

The Pope said this shortly after inaugurating the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which will run through Oct. 25.

The Holy Father himself, along with the synod fathers, will lead the rosary next Sunday in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

«Dear Young University Students,» the Pontiff said, «I am expecting many of you to entrust to Mary, ‘Sedes Sapientiae’ (Seat of Wisdom), the path of the Church and the society of the African continent.»

The event, promoted by the secretary general of the synod, and organized by the Office for University Pastoral Care of the vicariate of Rome, will center on the same theme as the synod: «The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace: ‘You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.'»

Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi, director of the University Pastoral Care office, explained to ZENIT that the young people of Rome will be joined via satellite link by other university students in Cairo (Egypt), Nairobi (Kenya), Khartoum (Sudan), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Johannesburg (South Africa), Onitsha (Nigeria), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Maputo (Mozambique) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

He noted that in this way, the students can gather with their pastors and other people in their city. The priest reported that through the satellite link, not only will they be able to see the Pope, but he will also be able to see them.

Monsignor Leuzzi stated that this will be an important moment of «communion and prayer with the African universities.»

It is important, he pointed out, to give witness of the Gospel’s capacity to shape culture, which is something that is entrusted in a special way to university students.

The priest concluded that the rosary, like the Gospel, «is truly capable of uniting cultures, but above all of directing the building of the common good.»

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