Pope leaves Dhaka with warm words


Staff Reporter:

Pope Francis wrapped up his busy Bangladesh trip on Saturday afternoon when he had an emotional interaction with Rohingyas.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali saw him off at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:05pm as he left by a special Biman flight, said an official.

The Foreign Minister also presented a PID photo album to Pope Francis on his visit, the official said.

There have  been much debates and criticisms as he did not use the word ‘Rohingya’ during his Myanmar visit and he apparently silenced his critics using the word in Bangladesh.

Before leaving Dhaka, Pope Francis spoke to young people and students at Notre Dame College on Saturday, inviting them to seek out and live by God’s wisdom in Jesus Christ as handed down by their grandparents.

The event marked the close of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Visit to Bangladesh, after which he bid farewell to Bangladesh people to return to the Vatican.

In response to the testimonies of two students from Notre Dame College, Pope Francis invited them to “journey” through life rather than “wandering aimlessly”.

A young girl, Upasana, expressed the joy of her fellow students, saying they were all “very enthusiastic” about his visit.

Confirming Upasana’s sentiment, the Holy Father praised the intrepidness of the young in the face of difficulties.

“Young people are always ready to move forward, to make things happen and to take risks. I encourage you to keep moving with this enthusiasm at the good times and the bad times,” he said.

Pope Francis ended his warm words, as had Upasana and Anthony, with an expression of hope.

He said Christians find in Jesus the solidarity of God, “who constantly walks by our side.”

“The wisdom of God reinforces the hope in us and helps us to face the future with courage,” he said.

The Pope’s final public words before leaving the country was a blessing: “God bless Bangladesh!”

Amid a  21- gun salute and highest state honour, Pope Francis arrived here on Thursday afternoon on a three-day state visit carrying a message of harmony, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Pope visited National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar where he laid wreath and signed visitor’s book and planted sapling.

Pope paid a visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Musium where he laid wreaths and signed the visitor’s book.

He met President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the visit.

On Saturday, Pope had a private visit to Tejgaon Mother Theresa House and met priests, religious and consecrated men and women in the Holy Rosary Church.unb