By Jim Fair

Pope Francis on May 10, 2020, recalled that 40 years ago Saint John Paul II made his first apostolic visit to Africa.

The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the Regina Caeli from the Papal Library of the Vatican, broadcast live around the world without the normal live audience in the square, a conciliation to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pope also praised the environmental initiatives of young people in Africa, pointing to them as an example for others to follow.

“And my look goes also to Africa because, forty years ago, on May 10, 1980, Saint John Paul II, during his first pastoral visit to that Continent, gave voice to the cry of the populations of the Sahel, harshly tested by drought,” Francis said. “Today I congratulate the young people that are working for the “Laudato Si’ Trees” initiative. The objective is to plant at least one million trees in the Sahel region, which will form part of the “Great Green Wall of Africa. “ I hope that many can follow the example of solidarity of these young people.”

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