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Pope Francis celebrated a Mass at which he canonised the nation's first saint.

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 | 5:45 AM

Huge crowds turned out in the Sri Lankan capital as Pope Francis celebrated a Mass at which he canonised the nation's first saint.
The Pope canonised 17th Century missionary Joseph Vaz at the sea-front service in Colombo.
It is the first papal visit since the end of the war in 2009 that saw the army and rebels accused of atrocities.
On Tuesday, the Pontiff called for the "pursuit of truth" to promote "justice, healing and unity" after years of war.
He arrived early for the Mass on Wednesday, informally greeting worshippers.
Hundreds of thousands showed up for the service at Galle Face Green, with many lining up from Tuesday to secure a place.
In keeping with his message of unity for Sri Lanka, Pope Francis urged its citizens to follow the example of Joseph Vaz and learn to overcome religious differences.
Saint Joseph embodied a challenge to "testify to the gospel message of reconciliation to which he dedicated his life" and showed "the importance of transcending religious divisions in the service of peace", he said.
He added: "Religious freedom is a fundamental human right. Each individual must be free alone or in association with others to seek the truth and to openly express his or her religious conviction."




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