05/08/2024, 17.05
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Garuda and nature’s colours in the logos of Francis's journey to Asia and Oceania

The symbolic images of the papal visit in September to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and Singapore were released today. The mottos call for fraternity, prayer, and outreach to local cultures, but also closeness to persecuted Christians in the region.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Ahead of the apostolic journey Pope Francis will undertake in September in Southeast Asia and Oceania, the Vatican Press Office today released the logos and mottos chosen by the four Churches – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Singapore – the pontiff will visit on this trip.

For the Indonesian leg of the trip, which Francis will spend in Jakarta from 3 to 6 September, the chosen motto is "Faith – Fraternity – Compassion".

The logo features as its main element the pope giving his blessing with, in the background, the emblem of the Garuda, the sacred eagle, gilded and reproduced in a manner reminiscent of the traditional “batik” fabric, the inlaid map of Indonesia, a country of many ethnic and social groups, languages, cultures, and religions.

On the right, one can see the flag of Indonesia under the name and coat of arms of the Holy Father.

In Papua New Guinea, the pontiff will visit Port Moresby and Vanimo from 6 to 9 September. The logo has three elements: first, the Cross in the middle, with colours that are reminiscent of the sunrises and sunsets that characterise the Oceanic country, representing the only Sacrifice that opens the doors of Heaven. The Bird of Paradise, a symbolic element of Papua New Guinea, is on the Cross, which sports the colours of the national flag.

Finally, to the left of the vertical arm of the Cross one can read Pray, the motto of the apostolic journey, inspired by the disciples’ request to Jesus "Lord, teach us to pray" (Lk 11:1). Thus, “Papuan Christians give voice to the desire of the entire people to learn how to pray. In this, they seek the guidance of the Holy Father.”

From 9 to 11 September, Pope Francis will be in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste (East Timor). The logo of this leg of the journey also features in the middle the pontiff, giving his blessing, with the earth behind him, and the map of East Timor emerging in the foreground.

The motto of the visit in Portuguese reads “Que a vossa fé seja a vossa cultura”, that is “Let your faith be your culture", an encouragement to live the Gospel in harmony with the traditions of the Timorese people.

On the last stop of this long journey, from 11 to 13 September, Francis will be in Singapore. The logo includes a stylised Cross, inspired by the star that guided the Magi, the Eucharist, and the five stars of the flag of Singapore.

The two words of the motto "Unity – Hope" appear to the left and right of the Cross. “‘Unity’ expresses communion and harmony among believers, both within the Church and in the context of society and family relations” in Singapore.

“‘Hope’ suggests that the Journey will be a beacon of hope for Christians in the region, especially for those who experience discrimination and persecution. The colours evoke the flag of Vatican City State” and “Singapore.”

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”