On Thursday, in a very cordial atmosphere, Pope Francis received Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique.
Mozambique became a democracy in 1992 after a lengthy 30-year civil war. A member of the delegation that accompanied the President told ZENIT that currently, the country’s infrastructures have improved notably.
The Holy Father shook hands with the President and greeted him in Portuguese: “Bom dia,” (Good morning) and both then went to the library. Seated at the wooden desk across from one another, the Pope said to him in Spanish to make himself comfortable, while they waited for the arrival of the interpreter, a Monsignor who came a few seconds later.
The private audience lasted 20 minutes, at the end of which the President gave the Pope a portrait painted by local artist Andre Macie. The painting depicted an African mother with a baby in arms, an oil painting. Upon seeing the portrait, which is entitled : “Gracas mae” [Thank you, Mother], the Pope exclaimed three times: “It’s very lovely!”
For his part, the Holy Father gave the President a book with a red cover containing his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” and he specified: “It’s in Portuguese.” He also gave him a medal of Saint Martin of Tours and explained the famous event when the Saint cut his Roman military cape to share it with a beggar.
Shortly after, the Pontiff gave each of the members of the delegation a white and red case with a Holy Rosary and a medal of his pontificate.
After his meeting with the Pope, the President met privately with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.