Leader of the Catholic Communion, Pope Francis, the 266th and first Jesuit Bishop of Rome on August 2 offered prayers of peace for Nigeria as her trying economic times.
The payers of the chief cleric for Nigeria came at the instance of Senator Annie Okonkwo when he paid visit to the Vatican City and made specific request for the Pope to pray for the nation during these trying times.
Okonkwo, a Knight of Saint John International, who spoke from St Peter Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, after a privileged audience with the Pope together with his daughter, Dr. Nkem Okonkwo on August 2 said told Daily Sun in a press statement that in response to his request to the pope to pray for the nation, he passionately asked for God’s blessings on the nation.
“During the prayers, the pope who blessed me and my daughter prayed for Nigeria charged Nigerians to remain flaming lights of service as global ambassadors of peace to humanity, and to Nigeria in particular.” Reflecting on this solemn encounter, Sen. Okonkwo noted that ‘you cannot experience Pope Francis personally and remain the same. Of course, I caught my miracle of spiritual rebirth swiftly and gladly, with a revived charter of love to all and ill to none, firmly implanted”. He said the visit made him understand why “the centre piece of Pope Francis Pontificate is on peace, love and mercy. This is because his total substance in its entirety is locked down to his peculiar charisma, in a dedicated life of continual giving, caring and healing to all humanity, especially the poor, the weak and the vulnerable.
The statement by his media adviser, Mr. Collins Ugwu said that Sen. Okonkwo later paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Embassy in the Vatican where he encouraged the Charge’ d’Affairs, Barr. Anthony Awuri and his staff to be faithful in their work and steady in their intercessions for the speedy return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country in complete good health.