In a telegram to President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Pope Francis expressed his condolences to beloved former President Nelson Mandela.
Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95 after battling health issues for several years.
“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela, and I send prayerful condolences to all the Mandela family, to the members of the government and to all the people of South Africa,” the Pope wrote.
The Holy Father paid tribute to the former president, who was affectionately known by South Africans as ‘Madiba’, his tribal name.
Recalling Mandela’s efforts in promoting the human dignity of all South African’s, the Pope expressed his hope that his example will “inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations.”
Concluding his telegram, the Holy Father invoked the “divine gifts of peace and prosperity” to the people of South Africa.