Sporting a black eye, pope urges Colombians to reconcile

2017-09-11 08:36
Pope Francis, sporting a shiner, celebrates Mass in the area of Contecar harbour in Cartagena, Colombia. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Pope Francis, sporting a shiner, celebrates Mass in the area of Contecar harbour in Cartagena, Colombia. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cartegena - Pope Francis wrapped up his Colombia trip Sunday by honouring a fellow Jesuit who ministered to African slaves and urging Colombians today to follow his lead in working for a more peaceful future.

Francis' visit to Cartagena got off to a rocky start when he bonked his head on his popemobile when it stopped short amid swarms of well-wishers. Francis, who had only a hip-high bar to hold onto, lost his balance and suffered a bruised, black left eye and a cut on his eyebrow that dripped blood onto his white cassock.

The cut was quickly bandaged with a butterfly patch and Francis carried on without incident with his programme, sporting a shiner that got increasingly dark as the day wore on.

The highlight of the day was a very personal stop for the Jesuit pope: He prayed at the tomb of St Peter Claver, the 17th century missionary who ministered to hundreds of thousands of African slaves who were brought through Cartagena's port during Spanish colonial times to be sold.

Francis, known for his own simple and austere style, said Claver was "austere and charitable to the point of heroism".

Claver, the self-described "slave of the slaves forever", has been revered by Jesuits, popes and human rights campaigners for centuries for having insisted on recognising the inherent dignity of slaves, treating them as children of God when others considered them mere merchandise to be bought and sold.

"Be slaves of peace forever," he said in a final appeal at the end of Mass in Cartagena's port.

Venezuela 

Francis had refrained until Sunday from speaking out about the political and humanitarian crisis next door in Venezuela.

But in remarks added into his Sunday prayer, Francis called for an end to political violence in Venezuela and protection for the poor who have been most hurt by the crisis.

While the appeal was welcomed, many in the crowd were more taken by Francis' mishap on the popemobile and his bruised and bloody eye.

"This holy blood is staying in Colombia," said Ricardo Morales, a lawyer who lined up outside St Peter Claver's church for a glimpse of the pope. 

Read more on:    pope francis  |  colombia  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.