The close guard of Pope Francis -

During his visit to 4 10 September in Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius (the fourth on the continent), Pope Francis had to address topics that are dear to him: environmental protection, conflict resolution, interreligious dialogue and ecumenism with Protestants. Four of his followers helped him prepare for this trip.

• Pietro Parolin

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See. © Tran Van Minh / AP / Sipa

Secretary of State of the Holy See (equivalent to a Prime Minister). This affable Italian cardinal has spent his whole career in Vatican diplomacy, starting with the nunciature in Nigeria. Set the milestones of this papal visit by going to Madagascar in January 2017.

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