During his Sept. 4-10 visit to the 3 M’s of the Indian Ocean — Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius — Pope Francis saw firsthand three nations full of inequalities: the first two, marred by violence and poverty, and the third, considered the most developed country in Africa.
During the eight hours Pope Francis spent in Mauritius, a multiethnic island nation in the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa, he urged the inhabitants to remember their immigrant roots and to integrate those who are arriving as they were welcomed by their ancestors.
Pope Francis’s return to sub-Saharan Africa begins in Mozambique, a nation which, according to the United Nations, ranks among the world’s poorest and least developed despite being rich in natural resources. Locals hope Francis’s visit inspires “Hope, Peace and Reconciliation,” as the country is still feeling the effects of a bloody civil war from 1977 to 1992.
Rejecting violence, promoting interreligious harmony, caring for the environment and stamping out government corruption are expected to be high on the agenda Sept. 4-10 when Pope Francis visits Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.