Catholic World News

At Wednesday audience, Pope recaps trip to Colombia

September 13, 2017

Pope Francis reflected on his visit to Colombia during his regular weekly audience on September 13.

The Pope said that the main purpose of his trip had been to promote reconciliation in a country that had long been divided by civil war. “It is evident,” he said, “that the Evil One had sought to divide the people to destroy the work of God.” But that division can be healed, he said, with the help of God’s grace. He remarked that the Christian roots of Colombia will promote the work of reconciliation. He added:

The beatification of the two martyrs reminded us in a real sense that peace is based also, and perhaps above all, on the blood of many witnesses of love, truth and justice, and also of genuine martyrs, killed for their faith, like the two I have just mentioned.

In Cartagena, the city that was the last stop on his trip, the Pope said that he was reminded of the work of St. Peter Claver in that same city. For that saint, he said, “taking the first step”—the phrase that was the theme for the papal voyage—meant “drawing closer, bending down, touching the flesh of our wounded and abandoned brother.”

Pope Francis thanked all those who helped to organize his trip. He reported that he had found the people of Colombia to be especially proud of their children, a characteristic that he saw as a hopeful sign for the country’s future. He described Colombians as “a joyful people: with many sufferings, but joyful.

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