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Let's take the first step: Pope's trip to Colombia

Deacon Pedro

Monday, September 4, 2017

“I invite all Colombians, without distinction, to joyfully welcome the visit of Pope Francis. He comes to bring us a message of peace, that peace that we are all called to build from hearts open to forgiveness, to reconciliation and solidarity.” These were the words of Cardinal Rubén Salazar, Archbishop of Bogotá, upon the announcement of the theme of the Pope's trip to Colombia. The theme, which we can already be seen on posters, banners, t-shirts and buttons is “Demos el primer paso” or “Let’s take the first step.”
This will be the third time a pope visits the South American nation: Paul VI was there in 1968 and John Paul II visited in 1986, but this is what they call an “exclusive visit” in that the Pope will not visit any other countries during this trip.

Civil War

It is estimated that over 200,000 Colombians have lost their lives in the five-decades-long civil war that ravaged the country since the 1960s. A cease-fire was signed between the government and the FARC Guerrilla forces in June 2016. As a result, president, Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The peace deal, however, is still being negotiated.
Upon confirmation of the Holy Father’s visit, President Santos said that “the Holy Father comes to support Colombians in the building of peace.” He added that the Pope’s visit will “help all Colombians to continue coming together towards a country that is more just, that has more solidarity and equity and (that is) in peace.”

Multi-City Visit

Pope Francis will arrive in Colombia on September 6th, but his activities begin the following day. He will visit four cities during his trip. Bogotá, the capital city and seat of the Cardinal; Villavicencio, because it is in the region most affected by the armed conflict and also because it is a city with great ecological value. Medellin was chosen because it is the city with the largest ecclesial presence in the country, and Cartagena, because of the great presence of afro-Colombians. Cartagena is also the place where the remains of St. Peter Claver can be found. Peter Claver is the patron saint of slaves, race relations, ministry to African-Americans, seafarers and also the Patron of Colombia. September 9 in Colombia, is the Human Rights National Day in honour of the Saint.
This historic visit is an opportunity for all Colombians to reflect on their reality and to commit to taking that first step in recognizing and understanding the suffering of others and in forgiving those who have hurt them. It is an opportunity that allows Colombians to come together in order to begin healing their wounds and to take that first step in building the country that they’ve always dreamt of.
Join us for our coverage of Pope Francis' visit to Colombia, starting on Wednesday, September 6, with an exclusive interview with Quebec's Cardinal Gerard Lacoroix, who was a missionary in Colombia for 9 years.

Visit our Apostolic Journeys webpage for all our broadcast details.

And to begin getting ready, here is the Theme Song for the visit: Demos el Primer Paso:
DEMOS EL PRIMER PASO (Let's take the first step)
Word and Music: José Vanegas, Yenith Acevedo, Eliana Bustos, Ana Bolívar, Mao García.
Mensajero lleno de alegría (a messenger full of happiness)
eres enviado del Señor (you are sent by the Lord)
vienes como lluvia en el desierto (you come as rain in the desert)
dándole esperanza a nuestro pueblo (giving hope to our people)
Te esperábamos con las puertas abiertas (we wait for you with open doors)
nuestras almas dispuestas (our souls are willing/ready)
a recibir tu bendición (to receive your blessing)
Nos traes luz nos traes paz (you bring us light you bring us peace)
nos traes palabras de verdad (you bring us words of truth)
y nuestra gente sabrá (and our people will know how to)
hallar en Dios la libertad (find freedom in God)
Nos traes luz nos traes paz (you bring us light you bring us peace)
nos traes palabras de verdad (you bring us words of truth)
y nuestra gente podrá (and our people will be able to)
hallar en Dios la libertad (find freedom in God)
Corazones llenos de alegría (hearts full of happiness)
Colombia te recibe hoy unida (Today, united, Colombia receives you)
en medio de barreras y quebrantos (in the middle of walls and tears)
queremos ofrecerte nuestro canto (we want to offer you our song)
Colombia te recibe con los brazos abiertos (Colombia receives you with open arms)
A una sola voz te decimos muy contentos (together, happily, we tell you)
Bendito sea Dios que en su sabiduría (blessed be God, who in his wisdom)
Te ha traído a nuestras tierras para ser su guía (has brought you to our land to be its guide)
Demos el primer paso (let's take the first step)
Vamos todos pa' lante (let's all go forward)
Siembra, dame la mano caminante (scattering seeds, give me your hand traveller)
Pasito a pasito (step by step)
Con nuestro Rey Bendito (with our blessed King)
Suelta lo que tienes, amor pal infinito (let go of what you have, love to the infinte)
Nos traes luz nos traes paz (you bring us light you bring us peace)
nos traes palabras de verdad (you bring us words of truth)
Amigo de los pobre y de los peregrinos (friend of the poor and of pilgrims)
Nos traes luz nos traes paz (you bring us light you bring us peace)
nos traes palabras de verdad (you bring us words of truth)
Bienvenido seas Papa Francisco (may you be welcome Pope Francis)

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