More than 70 world leaders flew to Africa today to bid a final farewell to Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who died on December 5.
them, more than 80 thousand people gathered today in Johannesburg, the stadium
first black leader of South Africa made his last major public appearance,
on the occasion of the World Cup 2010.
the Asian dignitaries due to speak are Li Yuanchao, vice president of China,
Pranab Mukherjee , President of India , and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian
present were U.S. president Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron,
and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French president Francois Hollande
and the Brazilian head of state Dilma Rousseff.
celebrations in honor of Mandela will continue throughout the week and will end
on December 15 in Qunu (Eastern Cape) , his birthplace , where a state funeral will
be held and he will be buried.
AsiaNews publishes a reflection by Card. Oswald
Gracias, President of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI ) dedicated to
Nelson Mandela , a figure who with his spirit "encourages the mission of
the Church in India with the poor and oppressed".
Mandela remains a selfless champion of
freedom, democracy and equality -- an icon of peace and reconciliation, a
revered statesmen peerless in his sacrifice, courage and commitment to changing
not only a nation, but the world.
Mandela's enduring Spirit of Forgiveness
and his remarkable lack of
bitterness after his release from
27 years of unjust incarceration, indicated as a statesman bent on a peaceful transition-
out of the hateful apartheid system and towards national reconciliation
Mandela can truly be described as "great," given that a large part of Mandela's
life was spent in isolation during his life sentence in Robben Island Jail, neither angry nor
vindictive, and with great courage and dignity, he endured 27 years in prison-
yet he never ceased to the pursue with the values of peace, love and
reconciliation. With his strength, dignity and grace, led a non-violent
transition to democracy and equality.
Mandela stood for
humanism, his focus on reconciliation began inside himself, even while he was
inspirational Leadership, Mandela ensured the peaceful
transition from the darkness of apartheid into the light of a
multi-racial democracy, thus liberating not just the people of South Africa and the
continent of Africa, but the many people in bondage - in spirit and mind- He
helped to liberate the world of hatred, injustice, racism, revenge and
The spirit of
Mandela, is significant for the Church in India in our work and mission towards
nation building -by our selfless and tireless service for the common good.
The Spirit of Mandela- one of the
world's most ardent fighters for equality- encourages the Church in India, in
our mission for the poor and oppressed in their struggle for equality and
justice and in their aspirations for self-respect
and fulfilment .
The Spirit of Mandela teaches us, that it is
possible to live and work by Gospel values.