Smiles, cheers, waves and speeches! That’s the kind of day it’s been for Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican officials as day 2 of his apostolic voyage to Benin comes to a close.
The Holy Father made his first address of the day to members of the Benin government, diplomatics corps and representatives of Benin’s major religions in a meeting at Cotonou’s Presidential Palace.
As the day went on, Pope Benedict visited the tomb of his close friend and renowned Beninese citizen Cardinal Bernardin Gantin in the courtyard of St. Gall Seminary in Ouidah. Following that, he spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of seminarians, men and women religious and lay faithful.
Moving forward, the Holy Father visited the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, where he formally signed the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in Africa.
In one of his most touching events yet, Pope Benedict returned to the city of Cotonou where he met with children from St. Rita’s Parish at the “Peace and Joy Centre”, a beautiful community run by the Missionaries of Charity. Here is his address.
Last but not least, the Holy Father finished his day by speaking to the Bishops of Benin at the Apostolic Nunciature in Cotonou.