There are no words to describe how incredibly uplifting these past few days have been. Not only has it been uplifting for the people of Benin
but for Africa and the universal Church, as a whole.
Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, Pope Benedict set out on a mission. It was quite evident these past three days that he wanted the people of Benin and Africa, as a continent, to know that they are an integral part of the Church. He inspired those he saw to become “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”, as called for by the theme of this papal visit.
He so intimately touched the hearts of all those who gathered and enkindled in them the fire of the Holy Spirit. Without a doubt, many people from Benin and Africa will be reflecting upon this visit for many years to come.
Looking back on today's events, Pope Benedict celebrated Mass with a multitude of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons and faithful at Friendship Stadium in Cotonou. In his homily
, he asked the people of Benin to be concerned for evangelization in their country, and among the peoples of Africa and the whole world.
Following Mass, he recited the Angelus Domini
and presented the long-awaited Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in Africa
, which had been released on Saturday.
The Holy Father then participated in a departure ceremony at the Cardinal Bernardin Gantin International Airport
before boarding his Alitalia flight back to Rome.
All in all, this has been an eye-opening and beautiful Apostolic Voyage. Once again, our Holy Father did not disappoint.
If you missed any part of this weekend's coverage, you can find a video of each day's events on our blog. The texts of Pope Benedict's speeches and homilies have also been posted for your perusal. Thank you for relying on us these past few days as we brought you all of these highlights from Benin.
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We look forward to the Holy Father's next Apostolic Voyage. Until then, stay blessed.