(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis arrives in Mauritius on final leg of his tour

Mon 09 Sep 2019
By Press Association

Pope Francis has arrived in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius to celebrate its diversity and honour a 19th century French missionary who ministered to freed slaves.

Thousands of Mauritians waved palm branches as Francis arrived on Monday to celebrate a mass honouring the Reverend Jacques-Desire Laval.

While Catholics represent less than a third of Mauritius' 1.3 million people, Father Laval is seen as a unifying figure for all Mauritians, most of whom are Hindu.

Francis is in the Mauritian capital Port Louis for just a few hours to meet with government leaders on the final day of his week-long Africa trip.

Attending the mass was a 50-member delegation from the Chagos Islands, an Indian Ocean archipelago that includes the US air base on Diego Garcia.

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