Cheers and happiness were felt across Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Many Congolese gave an ecstatic welcome to the Holy Father on Tuesday (Jan. 31).
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of the capital cheering wildly as Pope Francis passed in his popemobile shortly after landing at the airport.
Many ran after the Pontiff’s car that wound through working-class districts towards the presidential palace.
#PapeFrancois #RDC une foule en liesse ce 31 janvier 2023 à Kinshasa. #Mgrwillyngumbi pic.twitter.com/lHdx1JOGhX
— Évêché de Goma (@evechegoma) January 31, 2023
Over one million Catholic Christians are expected to turn out for an open-air mass in Kinshasa’s Ndolo airport on Wednesday, February 1st. The ceremony is set to start on 9:30 am local time.
For the occasion, the Congolese government had announced schools would be closed in Kinshasa and workers to work only half a day.
Aid groups hope Francis’ trips will shine a spotlight on the forgotten conflicts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and their high humanitarian costs as well as rekindle international attention amid donor fatigue.