My heart reaches and embraces all of you…
You are all in my prayers…
I long to meet you…
This was at the heart of the videomessage Pope Francis sent to Mozambique ahead of the journey he is undertaking Sept. 4-6, at the invitation of the country’s highest authorities.
This Apostolic Trip, Sept. 4-10, will be Francis’ fourth to Africa, and will also bring him to Madagascar and Mauritius.
Here is a ZENIT working translation of the message, which was originally in Portuguese.
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The Holy Father’s Video-Message
Dear People of Mozambique!
In a few days my visit to your country will begin and, despite my not being able to go beyond the capital, my heart reaches and embraces all of you, with a special place for those who live in tribulation. From now I wish to leave you with this certainty: you are all in my prayers. I long for the moment I will meet you.
Just as I received (and am grateful!) for the invitation of Mr President and of my Brother Bishops to be with you, I also extend my invitation to all of you, to join my prayer so that the God and Father of all will consolidate reconciliation, fraternal reconciliation in Mozambique and in the whole of Africa, only hope for a firm and lasting peace.
I will have the joy of sharing these convictions with you and also of verifying how the seed grows planted by my predecessor Saint John Paul II. This trip enables me to meet the Catholic community and to confirm it in its witness of the Gospel, which teaches the dignity of every man and woman and exacts from us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and the needy.
Dear brothers and sisters, I know that many of you are working in the preparation of my visit, including with the offering of their prayers, and I thank you from my heart. I invoke upon you and upon your country God’s blessings and the protection of our Mother, the Virgin Mary. See you soon![Original text: Portuguese] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]