(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was scheduled to leave on Monday evening for the 7th Apostolic Trip of his Pontificate. The first stop of his two-nation journey is Sri Lanka, after which he will go to the Philippines. This follows his 2014 trip to Korea for the 6th Asian Youth Day.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka, Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Van Tot, told Vatican Radio that despite its small Catholic population, the continent is receptive to the message of Pope Francis.
Listen to the full interview by Fr. Louis Xystus Jerome, SJ, with Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Van Tot:
“I think that many people from Asia – China and Vietnam, and Sri Lanka… Japan, Korea – want to follow his teaching, and to build a good society in every country,” he said.
Archbishop Nguyên Van Tot highlighted Wednesday’s scheduled visit to the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, located in the northern of the country, which has a large Tamil population.
The Nuncio said the shrine was a “principal centre” for the whole country: Catholics belonging to the Sinhalese majority visit the shrine, as well as Catholics from the Tamil minority.
“It was not apparitions [which made the shrine famous], but there was a great devotion from the people, and they received many graces,” said Archbishop Nguyên Van Tot.
He added that other religions also appreciate the shrine, and he expects many non-Christians to arrive at Wednesday’s prayer service to “pray with the Holy Father.”
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