The Holy Father travels to the West African country of Benin, Nov. 18-20, to mark the 150th anniversary of the nation, led by the missionaries of the Society of African Missions. He comes to Benin to sign and distribute a letter reflecting on the 2009 special Synod of Bishops for Africa. With six-hour flights to and from Benin, the Pope is scheduled to spend less than 50 hours on the ground in Benin, but his schedule still includes separate meetings with government representatives, with African bishops and with children.


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Saturday, Nov. 19


Meeting With Government Officials & Representatives of Major Religions

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Visit at the Cathedral of Cotonou

On Friday evening, 18 November 2011, the Holy Father visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy, Cotonou, Benin, where he spoke of the mystery of God's love.

Your Eminences,

Reverend Father Rector of the Cathedral,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The ancient hymn, the Te Deum, which we have just sung, expresses our praise to the thrice-holy God who gathers us in this beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy. We pay homage as well to the former Archbishops who are buried here: Archbishop Christoph Adimou and Archbishop Isidore de Sousa. They were...more