By Cyrus Kioko

The three days visit to Kenya by Pope Francis has been celebrated nationally with thousands of people attending his public mass at University of Nairobi on Thursday.

Overwhelmed Kenyans trooped to the different venues to catch a glimpse of the Pope despite heavy rains on the early morning. None was disappointed, as the pontiff matched their expectation even slowing down his car to shake hands with some people.

The congregation was well represented by people of all and sundry ranging from children to the aged.

Youths from different counties travelled to Nairobi to attend the memorable occasion by the Pontiff at Kasarani Stadium.

About 1, 300 youths who were drawn from various primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret were among those who attended the occasion from outside Nairobi.

Those who could not make it to Nairobi followed his proceedings on local TV stations never to miss any action after he landed on Kenyan soil.

In his address to Kenyans, the Pope pointed a vital role of the youth in the society, where he termed them as representation of the future generation and playing a big role in shaping the community morals.

“Here, in the heart of this university, where the minds and hearts of new generations are being shaped, I appeal in a special way to the young people of the nation. Let the great values of Africa’s traditions, the wisdom and truth of God’s word, and the generous idealism of your youth guide you in working to shape a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity,” said Pope Francis.

He also linked them to the families where he said Kenyan society has been blessed with families full of love and strong bond between the members.

Moreover, he rooted for strong family values that are bedrock for any good society, preaching religious tolerance and urging the youth to be upright.

“Kenyan society has long been blessed with strong family life, a deep respect for the wisdom of the elderly and love for children. The health of any society depends on the health of its families,” said the pontiff.

He encouraged all to join Christian families to realize success in life.

“You will succeed whenever and wherever there is the gospel. Christian families have one mission, to spread the gospel,” preached the Pope.

“Ensure the families and the society is stable if you want to breed success,” he added.

The pope’s visit to Kenya is currently in Uganda before heading to his last visit on the continent in the Central African Republic.