The Vatican has unveiled the logos and mottos for Pope Francis’ July trip to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In South Sudan, where Francis will travel from July 5-7, the motto comes from John 17: “I pray that all may be one.”
The logo depicts a dove carrying an olive branch flying above the outline of South Sudan colored like the country’s flag. The design also includes a cross and two clasped hands.
According to the visit’s organizers, the clasped hands represent the reconciliation of the tribes making up the single nation, while the cross symbolizes South Sudan’s Christian heritage and its suffering.
The dove and olive branch point to the desire for peace in the country.
The motto of Pope Francis’ July 2-5 visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “All Reconciled in Jesus Christ.” The logo includes a blue cross, the image of Pope Francis, a landscape of river, mountains, and a tree, and an okapi.
The okapi is a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, and the DRC is the only country where it is found in the wild. The okapi was included in the logo, according to organizers, to represent the wealth of the Congolese fauna.
Another important symbol in the image is a palm branch, which recalls the martyrdom rooted in the DRC’s history.
“The palm tree, expressing in fact victory, rebirth and immortality, refers to the message of hope that offers the visit of the Holy Father,” a press release said.
Organizers said the blue cross shows the devotion of the Congolese people for the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Congo, who “carries and sustains the prayers of the whole nation to Christ the Redeemer, our strength.”
Three abstract people in orange and red are under the blue cross as a symbol of fraternity, which can only be a gift of God, the press release said.
“The vibrant colors used here are intended to manifest the feeling and dynamism that characterizes the Congolese people, ready to welcome in joy and unity the Vicar of Christ and Successor of Peter.”