Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM AFRICA - Pope Francis told reporters he is well aware that God is a god of surprises, but he had not been prepared for what a surprise his first visit to Africa would be.

BANGUI, Central African Republic - Pope Francis ended his visit to the violence-torn Central African Republic with cries for peace and pleas for a mercy that seeks and grants forgiveness.

BANGUI, Central African Republic - Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic.

BANGUI, Central African Republic - Despite serious security concerns for Pope Francis and for those who would come to see him, the pope landed in Central African Republic Nov. 29 saying he came as "a pilgrim of peace."

KAMPALA, Uganda - As Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19th-century Ugandan Martyrs, he carried with him graphic images of the horrors the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs endured.

KAMPALA, Uganda - Witnessing to what is true, good and beautiful -- even if that witness is motivated by different faiths -- brings people together and strengthens a nation, Pope Francis said.

NAIROBI, Kenya - The wealth of residents of the poorest neighbourhoods ringing big cities around the world will never be quoted on the stock exchange, even though their wealth gives life and joy to millions of people, Pope Francis said.

NAIROBI, Kenya - The international community is facing a stark and serious choice, "either to improve or to destroy the environment," Pope Francis said, referring to the Paris Climate Conference.

NAIROBI, Kenya - Respect, unity and service are the foundations of a strong family, a solid democracy and a healthy response to the gift of faith — any faith, Pope Francis told the people of Kenya.

NAIROBI, Kenya - With security concerns looming over his visit, Pope Francis arrived in Kenya Nov. 25 urging tolerance and respect among people of different religions and different ethnic groups.