The motto for the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the Democratic Republic of Congo was released on Monday, and bears the words "All reconciled in Jesus Christ."
Pope Francis will travel to the African nation from 2 to 5 July and visit the cities of Kinshasa and Goma. The Holy See Press Office released the information, along with the icon of the logo for what will be the Pope's 37th Apostolic Journey outside Italy.
The local organizing committee for the papal journey explained how the logo features a map of the African country with the contours in the design displaying the colors of the flag.
The map also has graphics showing the earth's biodiversity and has an open border to the west as a sign of the warm welcome given to this great event and the fruits it will bear.
The colors of the flag display yellow, symbolizing the richness of the Democratic Republic of Congo with its fauna and flora, terrestrial and subterranean. The red color on the eastern border represents the blood shed by the martyrs in that area. The blue color on the northern border expresses the ardent desire for peace the Congolese people.
On the left side a blue cross reflects the devotion of the Congolese people to the Virgin Mary, the Madonna of Congo, who carries and supports the prayers of the whole nation to Christ the Redeemer.
The three persons represented are a symbol of fraternity: men and women, adults and children, united in one collage, expressing this wish for unity that can only be God's Gift. The bright colors used aim to give testimony to the feeling and dynamism that characterizes the Congolese people, ready to welcome in joy and unity the Vicar of Christ and Successor of Peter.
Also present in the logo is a palm tree branch that refers to the idea of martyrdom rooted in the history of the Congo. The palm expresses victory, rebirth and immortality, and to the message of hope that the Pope's visit offers.
Finally, in the center, between the cross and the map of Congo, we see the figure of Pope Francis giving his blessing, a great joy for the nation.
Rich natural beauty
The organizing committee also highlights several aspects of the biodiversity found in Congolese territory. They include the mountain areas, present in all regions, especially in the east where a volcano has erupted often, affecting the population of Goma.
The flowing water reflects the hydrographic richness of the country, including the Congo River and its waterways, as well as the various lakes.
Finally, the tree points to all of the flora of the Congo and represents the uniqueness of this land, Africa and the planet. Also depicted are the okapi, half zebra and half giraffe, an animal symbolizing the DRC, the only country where it is found, living in the wild and representing the richness of the Congolese fauna.