Minutes after landing in Uganda, Pope Francis headed to the Ugandan State House for an official welcome ceremony.
The president delivered brief remarks before the Pope spoke.
President of Uganda
"Today I have just a simple job: to introduce a few dignitaries who are here, and invite His Holiness to speak you, because he is the one you are waiting for.”
Just hours before going to visit the sanctuary where Uganda's martyrs are honored, Pope Francis paid homage to those who gave up their lives for their faith.
"They remind us of the importance that faith, moral rectitude and commitment to the common good have played, and continue to play, in the cultural, economic and political life of this country. They also remind us that, despite our different beliefs and convictions, all of us are called to seek the truth, to work for justice and reconciliation, and to respect, protect and help one another as members of our one human family.”
Pope Francis explained that the purpose of his trip was to shine a spotlight on Africa as a whole, which he described as a place of hope.
He praised Uganda for its treatment of refugees.
"Our world, caught up in wars, violence, and various forms of injustice, is witnessing an unprecedented movement of peoples. How we deal with them is a test of our humanity, our respect for human dignity, and above all our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in need.”
In a continuation of his previous remarks about the environment, the Pope said that Uganda had been blessed with rich natural resources. It is thus their obligation to be responsible stewards.
As his visit came to a close, the Pope left the State House for what would be one of the most emotional stops on the trip: a visit to a sanctuary dedicated to Catholic martyrs.