Vatican City, Apr 18, 2007 / 09:35 am
In greetings at the end of today's general audience, the Pope made particular mention of Angola, remarking how 400 years ago, during the pontificate of Paul V, the first black ambassador from a Christian kingdom in Africa came to Rome. That ambassador, the representative of the Kingdom of the Congo (modern-day Angola), was Dom Antonio Emanuel Ne Vunda, cousin of King Alvaro II.
"I invoke the blessings of God upon the entire nation," said the Holy Father, "that each individual may contribute to consolidating the peace that was achieved five years ago, and that promised to give a voice to the people and to institute authentically democratic life. I ask everyone to persevere in the work of reconciling hearts that still bleed for the wounds of war, and I express my joy at the reconstruction in progress, as I remind the religious and civil authorities of their obligation to favor the poorest. God bless Angola!"