President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique has confirmed that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, will visit Mozambique in early September, APA can report on Thursday.
In a national television broadcast on Thursday, Nyusi said that, during his three-day visit, Pope Francis will hold talks with government officials, political and religious leaders and other figures.
Nyusi expressed his conviction that the papal visit would help his compatriots build a united and peaceful nation in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster which killed hundreds and destroyed cities.
"The visit by Pope Francis is a historic landmark and an opportunity to strengthen the faith of the Mozambican people to fight for a country increasingly anchored in peace, harmony and the common good” he said,
He added that the Vatican has participated actively in the search for definitive peace in Mozambique through an apostolic official personally appointed by the Pope.
"The presence of the Pope", he stressed, “occurs at a moment when Mozambicans are deepening a permanent dialogue as the only way to achieve definitive peace”.
Nyusi issued the invitation to Pope Francis to visit Mozambique when he made a state visit to the Vatican in September last year.
The announcement was timed to coincide with one from the Vatican which said that Francis will visit not only Mozambique, but also Madagascar and Mauritius in early September.
This will be the second papal visit to Mozambique.
The first was in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, at the invitation of the then President, Joaquim Chissano.