Pope Francis receives rousing welcome from President Kenyatta
His Holiness Pope Francis arrived in the country this afternoon to a rousing welcome from Kenyans led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
The plane carrying the pontiff touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 4.30 pm where he was warmly received by President Kenyatta and the First Lady.
Deputy President William Ruto, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua were also at the airport.
The Pope’s Representative in Kenya Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo and Nairobi Archbishop John Cardinal Njue led the Catholic Church in according the Pope a befitting reception on his history visit to Kenya and Africa.
Jubilant songs of welcome from choirs and cultural troupes rented the air at the airport and cheers bellowed from thousands of Kenyans who lined up the road to State House, Nairobi.
At State House – the Pope’s first stop after the airport – the Head of the 1.2 billion people-strong Catholic Church received full honours including a 21-gun salute and a guard of honour which was mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army.
After the State reception, the Pope held a private talks with President Kenyatta before they were joined by Government officials for a bilateral meeting. The Pope and the President were later addressed the Nation from the lawns of State House.
On Thursday November 26, the pontiff will hold an inter-religious event at the Apostolic Nunicature, the home of the Pope’s representative to Kenya. Thereafter, he will celebrate Mass at the University of Nairobi. On the same day, the Holy Father will preside over a meeting for Catholic clergy at St. Mary’s School, Nairobi. He will conclude his second day in the country by addressing diplomatic corps at UNEP in the evening.
On Friday 27 November, His Holiness will visit St Joseph the Worker Church in Kangemi before addressing young people at Safaricom Stadium at Kasarani. At the same venue, the Pope will meet Catholic bishops before he ends his visit.