Christ cross

Mauritian Cardinal at the Church of the Agaléga Islands on the occasion of his birthday

With the presence of the Cross of Saint Rita, Catholicism is deeply rooted in the Agaléga Islands, located 1,000 kilometers north of Mauritius with a population of around 300 people.

The Catholic community of Agaléga celebrated on September 8 the 125th anniversary of the presence of the Church in the islands of the Indian Ocean. It is the first time that the faithful commemorate the arrival of the first missionaries on the island.

In his message published on the occasion of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, Cardinal Piat notes that the Cross which stands by the sea reminds the inhabitants of the Agalega Islands that “Jesus, who died on the cross and rose again the third 2000 years ago, gave his life out of love for us.

“Today, this Jesus is still alive, he loves you and is close to each of you, the Agaleans of the North Island and the South Island. He shares your joys, he knows your sorrows, he stays close to you, he carries your cross with you, he encourages you and illuminates your life with the light of his love,” said the Mauritian cardinal.

He expresses his gratitude to the Catholic sisters who carry out the pastoral care of the islands by saying: “Thank you, dear sisters, for your perseverance, your support and your joyful service.

The 81-year-old cardinal who began his episcopal ministry in May 1991 as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Port Louis encourages the people of God on the islands to always take the time to stop by the cross of Saint Rita, to meditate and pray whenever he approaches the cross.

He says: “Remember that this Jesus who was rejected by the people of his time and who was wounded by our sins, our indifference, this Jesus looks at us with love from the Cross. He does not reject us; on the contrary, he offers us his forgiveness and invites us to live a beautiful friendship with him.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Moi University Kenya. Agnès is currently a journalist for ACI Africa.