'God Bless Benin'

Photo highlights of Pope Benedict's journey to Africa.

During his three-day trip to the West African nation of Benin, Pope Benedict XVI explained his hope that his new apostolic exhortation Africae Munus can “greatly assist” Africa’s flourishing: “I entrust it to the faithful of Africa as a whole, to study carefully and to translate into concrete actions in daily life.”

He told the faithful, “Here are found authentic values which have much to teach our world; they need only to spread and blossom with God’s help and the determination of Africans themselves.”

The Holy Father encouraged future priests in their vocations and children in their faith. He thanked God for three days spent “in joy and friendship” with the people of Africa, encouraging them to be “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

“May God bless you all, through the intercession of Our Lady of Africa,” he proclaimed in the local language of Fon. “God bless Benin!”

Photo essay followed this introduction in the print issue.