Yamoussoukro (Agenzia Fides) - "We will dedicate an entire year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the basilica", said on Sunday 15 September 2019 Fr. Franck Sylvestre Allatin, rector of The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro. The Mass marked the official launch of the Basilica's 30th anniversary celebrations, centered on a year of spiritual and cultural initiatives that will end in September 2020.
Mgr. Alexis Touably Youlo, Bishop of Agboville and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Yamoussoukro, who presided at the Eucharist, in his homily thanked the Lord who inspired the then President of the Ivory Coast, the late Félix Houphouët Boigny, to undertake the construction of the Basilica "a true bond between the sky and the Ivorian land".
The apostolic administrator emphasized that the Basilica with its architecture inspires the inhabitants of the Ivory Coast to rise above all the barriers that can divide them and place them against each other. Mgr. Youlo invited everyone to live in harmony and to overcome ethnic, political, religious or cultural differences.
Consecrated on 10 September 1990 by Pope John Paul II, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro is owned by the Holy See.
With an estimated total cost of 40 billion CFA francs, the building, financed by former President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, has now become a center of tourism and pilgrimage that attracts thousands of visitors every year. (S.S.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/9/2019)