By Odiwuor Opiyo
KINSHASA, MARCH 15, 2022 (CISA) – The motto for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is “All reconciled in Jesus Christ.”
An icon of the logo for the apostolic Journey was shared by Vatican News. According to the news source, the logo revealed by the local organizing committee for the papal journey features the map of DRC contoured in the design displaying the colours of the flag.
Colour Yellow on the flag depicts a DRC rich in terrestrial and subterranean flora and fauna while a swoosh of red along the eastern border of the map depicts blood shed by martyrs predominantly from that region. The blue borderline on the north symbolizes the fervent want for peace in that region while a blue cross on the left side of the icon stands for, according to the local organizing committee, “the devotion of the Congolese people to the Virgin Mary, the Madonna of Congo, who carries and supports the prayers of the whole nation to Christ the Redeemer.”
The western end of the logo opens up to signify the welcome the pontiff will receive, the importance of his visit to the country and the probable fruition the visit will achieve.
Inside the logo is a range of biodiversity including mountains, present in most regions of the country, particularly the eastern region where recently, Mt Nyiragongo – an active volcano – erupted consequently affecting people in Goma.
The flowing water symbolizes hydrographic wealth in the country including River Congo as well as all other lakes, water features and bodies.
A tree at the centre of the logo mirrors, “all of the flora of the Congo and represents the uniqueness of this land, Africa, and the planet. Also depicted are the okapi, half zebra, and half giraffe, an animal symbolizing the DRC, the only country where it is found, living in the wild and representing the richness of the Congolese fauna,” revealed the local organizing committee.
A palm branch shows the martyrdom rooted in the country’s history and as explained by Vatican News, “victory, rebirth, and immortality, and to the message of hope that the Pope’s visit offers.”
The three persons at the foot of the cross are symbolic of fraternity amongst men, women and children; the wish for unity amongst all and a gift from God. The logo also consists of an image of Pope Francis offering blessings presumably for the country, to the joy of much of its population.
The choice of bright colours was according to the local organizing committee, “to give testimony to the feeling and dynamism that characterizes the Congolese people, ready to welcome in joy and unity the Vicar of Christ and Successor of Peter.”
Pope Francis is expected to travel between June 2 and 5; first to the Democratic Republic of Congo where he will visit Kinshasa and Goma and later travel to South Sudan. The Catholic Church in Congo has called for proper mobilization to welcome Pope Francis to the country. He will be the second pontiff to visit DRC after Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1985.