Tue, Jan 13, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Ex-war zone church awaits pope

SRI LANKAN SANCTUARY:Under a new president and still scarred by civil war, the nation anticipates its first visit from Pope Francis amid ‘a time of tremendous change’

AFP, MADHU, Sri Lanka

In honor of the papal visit, a new chapel has been built alongside the 19th-century sanctuary that houses the statue, and Santhiapillai says he hopes that Francis will consecrate it.

Dominic Jencily, a volunteer at Madhu who lost his brother in the war, voted for the first time in last week’s election.

The 19-year-old Tamil is confident that the nation will change for the better under Sirisena — and he believes the pope’s visit is the icing on the cake.

“He is the representative of God,” Jencily told reporters. “This is our chance to connect with him at a time of tremendous change in our country.”

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