Gabon. Foundation Stone Laid for Future Basilica in Libreville

Source: FSSPX News


On January 25, Mgr. Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations of the Holy See with States and special envoy of Benedict XVI, blessed the first stone of the future basilica of Libreville in the presence of the President of Gabon Omar Bongo Ondimba, many members of the government and of the diplomatic corps.

“It is a great joy for me to come to Gabon, sent by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, to celebrate with you the national closing ceremony of the John Paul II Jubilee Year, prior to the blessing of the foundation stone of the Basilica”, declared Mgr. Dominique Mamberti.

The ceremony took place during a “magnificent celebration” at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. After three Bible readings evoking the life of St. Peter, Mgr. Mamberti proceeded with blessing ceremony.

The construction of the Basilica had been decided by president Omat Bongo Ondimba. A model of the Basilica was presented to the head of the Gabonese State, on January 12 last year, by the Archbishop of Libreville, Mgr. Basile Mvé Engone. The Basilica would meet the norms of modern architecture and allow Gabon “to gain a spiritual character of great value”. The main contractor of the work is the Ivory Coast architect of Lebanese origin Pierre Fakhoury, who was also responsible for the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix in Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast) built in the 80’s over an area of 8000 square meters and consecrated by John Paul II on September 10, 1990.

The Council of Gabonese Ministers, brought together under the chairmanship of the president, were “delighted with the excellent state of relations existing between the Gabon and the Holy See”. For his part, the Papal Nuncio  to the Gabon and the Congo, Mgr. Andrés Carrascosa Coso hailed the membership of a “majority of Gabonese people” to the Catholic Church, and the role of the latter, at the service of spiritual, social, cultural and educational development of the Gabonese people”.

(Sources : Apic/gabonews)