Pope Francis with President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar (center-right)  (Vatican Media)

By Devin Watkins

Aug 18 2023

Pope Francis meets with the President of Madagascar, Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, and recalls his 2019 Apostolic Journey to the nation.

On Thursday, Pope Francis held a private audience with Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, who later met with Msgr. Miroslaw Wachowski, Under-Secretary for Relations with States.

The discussions, held at the Secretariat of State, highlighted the positive bilateral relations enjoyed by the Holy See and Madagascar, as well as the Catholic Church’s contributions to many sectors of Malagasy society.

International issues

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, their conversation encompassed various national and international topics.

These included the ongoing war in Ukraine and its global repercussions, along with several crises affecting the African continent.

Moreover, both parties explored the potential of “proceeding in the drafting of a bilateral Agreement, as a further sign of respectful collaboration.”

Memories of Pope’s Visit to Madagascar

At the end of the 30-minute audience, Pope Francis invited President Rajoelina and his delegation to take a group photo next to a miniature replica of the ship which the Pope received as a gift during his Apostolic Journey to Madagascar, on 6-9 September 2019.

After the photo, the Pope prayed a Hail Mary with those present in front of an image of Our Lady which the Bishops of Madagascar gave him.

The Pope concluded the audience by imparting his Apostolic Blessing upon the President and his entourage. – Vatican News