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Pope Francis on the plane heading for Kenya

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

FULL TEXT: Pope’s Words to Journalists During Flight to Nairobi

“Be careful of the mosquitos!”

Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ words to journalists during his flight to Nairobi yesterday:

* * *

Father Lombardi: Holy Father, welcome in our midst. Thank you for giving us this moment of meeting and greeting, as usual, moreover, at the beginning of trips. The Holy Father has authorized me to give you two bits of information, before giving him the floor. The first is that, as usual, yesterday evening he went to pray to Our Lady at Santa Maria Maggiore, very privately, to ask for Mary’s protection during this trip. And the second is that, this morning, while he was leaving Saint Martha’s, as he has already been greeted at other times by a few homeless, this morning he was greeted by a group of eleven women and six children: they were women who were victims of family violence, of trafficking, of prostitution and who were there with their children, and they are now in a House of women Religious who are helping them to recover. They were Italian, Rom, Nigerian and Ukrainian. The Pope spoke with them and expressed his closeness to all persons that suffer violence and who are taking up hope again on their way.

This time there are 74 of us journalists accompanying you on the flight, of many different languages and nationalities, as always. I point out that among us are four Kenyans, who, therefore, represent the place to which we are going – Africa. Then I would like to point out a good group, this time French speaking, because –as we know – Africa is very important also for all Francophone journalism, and the visit to the Central African Republic sparks much attention. And then, of course, we have all the other languages and different media that are represented.

I give you the floor. Thank you for being with us.

Pope Francis: Thank you, Father. Good morning. I want to greet and thank you for your presence and your work on this trip. I go with joy to meet the Kenyans, Ugandans and brothers of the Central African Republic. I thank you for all that you will do so that this trip will give the best fruits, be they spiritual or material. And so, I would like to greet each one of you {He greets all the journalists]

Father Lombardi: Would you like to say something else?

Pope Francis: That the good trip continues, and that we meet again!

Father Lombardi: Thank you so much, Holiness, for this very friendly meeting, as always. We wish you a good trip and assure you that we will work like mad to try to help your service.

Pope Francis: Be careful of the mosquitos!

Father Lombardi: See, we will be protected from the mosquitos! Thank you.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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