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Pope Francis blesses a small sculpture of Jesus Christ presented by Aura Miguel Vistas of Radio Maria Renascenca on his flight from Rome to Nairobi


Pope Sends Telegrams to Heads of State During Flight to Kenya

Prays Almighty God Blesses Nations With Peace and Prosperity

During the flight this morning from Rome to Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Pope Francis, as is customary, sent telegrams to the heads of states of the countries over which he flew. The first was sent to the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, in Italian, and the others were sent to the presidents of Greece, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, in English.

The telegrams are published below.



To His Excellency

Honorable Sergio Mattarella

President of the Italian Republic

Quirinale Palace

00187 Roma

As I prepare for an apostolic journey to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic, moved by my great desire to meet the brothers in faith and the populations of those dear nations, it pleases me to send to you Mr. President this expression of a respectful greeting, which I accompany with special prayers for the good and prosperity of all the Italian people.

Franciscus pp.

[Original Text: Italian]


His Excellency Prokopis Pavlopoulos 
President of the Hellenic Republic 

I send cordial greetings to Your Excellency and to your fellow citizens as I fly over the country on my way to Kenya for a pastoral visit. I invoke divine blessings upon greece, and I pray that Almighty God may bless you all with peace and well-being.

Franciscus pp.


His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi 
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt 

As i fly over your country on my way to Kenya for a pastoral visit, I extend cordial greetings to Your Excellency and the people of Egypt. Invoking the blessing of the Almighty upon the nation, I pray that he may grant you well-being and peace.

Franciscus pp.


His Excellency Omar Al-Bashir 
President of the Republic of the Sudan 

Upon entering the airspace of the nation as I travel to Kenya for a pastoral visit, i extend cordial greetings to your excellency and your fellow citizens. I pray that the Almighty may grant the Sudan divine blessings of peace and prosperity.

Franciscus pp.


His Excellency Mulatu Teshome 
President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 
Addis Ababa

As I travel over Ethiopia on my way to Kenya for a pastoral visit, I send cordial greetings to Your Excellency and to your fellow citizens. Assuring you of my prayers for the peace and well-being of the nation, i invoke divine blessings upon all of you.

Franciscus pp.

[Original Text: English]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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