A first step with Francis

A tour of the pope's visit to Colombia 2017

Pope Francis’ Sept. 6-11 apostolic visit to Colombia brought the pope into contact with a country still scarred by a 53-year civil war, a war in which more than 200,000 people died.

The pope openly encouraged the country’s government and guerrilla groups to work toward reconciliation, which they ultimately achieved by reaching a peace agreement in 2016.

The theme of the pope’s visit was “Let’s Take the First Step,” reflecting the need of the country and its people to move forward together on a path of peace and healing.

  • Pope Francis greets a sick child near the Talitha Qum homeless shelter in Cartagena, Colombia, on Sept. 10. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis addresses the audience during a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and other government authorities in Bogotá on Sept. 7. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass at Catama field in Villavicencio on Sept. 8. During the Mass, the pope told Colombians to have the courage “to take the first step” in building peace. “We need only one good person to have hope, and each of us can be that person,” the pope said. CNS photo by Paul Haring.

  • Pope Francis and Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez greet well-wishers outside the
    cardinal’s residence Sept. 7. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis shakes hands with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the courtyard of the presidential palace in Bogotá on Sept. 7. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis plants a tree as a sign of new life during a visit to the Cross of Reconciliation at Los Fundadores Park in Villavicencio on Sept. 8. CNS photo via L’Osservatore Romano

  • Pope Francis pays a visit to the Cross of Reconciliation at Los Fundadores Park. The cross represents the victims of the country’s long armed conflict. CNS photo via L’Osservatore Romano

  • People are seen during the national reconciliation prayer meeting at Las Malocas Park in Villavicencio on Sept. 8. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • A woman holds a sign while waiting for the start of Pope Francis’ celebration of Mass in Medellín. More than 1 million people attended the Sept. 9 Mass, according to reports. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín on Sept. 9. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • A mural of Pope Francis is seen in Medellín. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Children at Hogar San José children’s home wait for Pope Francis to arrive Sept. 9. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Children at Hogar San José children’s home wait for Pope Francis to arrive Sept. 9. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis greets people near the Talitha Qum homeless shelter in Cartagena. The pope cut his head in the popemobile when it braked suddenly. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis accepts flowers from a girl as he arrives to visit the Shrine of St. Peter Claver in Cartagena on Sept. 10. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis pauses for prayer at the Shrine of St. Peter Claver in Cartagena on Sept. 9. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • People celebrate as Pope Francis offers Mass at Contecar terminal in Cartagena on Sept. 10. CNS photo by Paul Haring

  • Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass at Contecar terminal in Cartagena on Sept. 10. CNS photo by Paul Haring

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