Not even the cold and steady rain could dampen the spirits of the Catholic faithful of Mozambique gathered for the Papal Mass.
The faithful of Mozambique have waited for this moment for months. Many from far-flung communities even contributed money to send at least one of their own to Maputo for this Mass. Many others have come from neighbouring countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa and Tanzania. Even some Mozambicans from the United States were present with their families at the Mass.
The Holy mass began consisting of a One thousand strong choir which also comprised of the laity, priests, nuns and seminarians who have been practising for months. The choir members are drawn from the parishes of the Archdiocese of Maputo. The rest were choir members from neighbouring dioceses such as Xai Xai.
In Mozambique, matters of inclusion are important. For this reason, the local liturgical songs had been balanced in such a way that all Mozambicans hear something of their region at the Papal Mass. Even prayers of the faithful were in the various local languages of Mozambique.
As the Papal Mass ended, many were visibly moved to tears. The Pope has now left Mozambique for Madagascar as he proceeds on the second leg of this Apostolic Voyage.
Pope Francis’ visit to Mozambique will be remembered for a long time to come.