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The sign of the cross

· Logo for the Bishop of Rome’s visit in Sri Lanka ·

The Archdiocese of Colombo has released the logo for Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January. The Papal Journey will then continue to the Philippines from 15 to 19. Pending publication of the official programme, the logo gives some initial insight into the Pontiff’s visit to the Asian country. At the centre is the “Sri Lanka cross”, inspired by the cross of St Thomas, found a century ago in the archaeological excavations of the ancient capital of Anuradhapura. The cross is blue in remembrance of the country’s consecration to Our Lady of Lanka after the second world war. The Archdiocese of Colombo chose this exact symbol because “it also speaks of our love and devotion to Our Lady”. The background is mitre red and yellow, meant to represent that of the Pontificate. The lappets of the mitre fall softly along the sides and embrace the words “Pope Francis” and “Sri Lanka 2015”. Four colours — brown, orange, green and yellow — appear on both sides of the Pope’s mitre and symbolize Sri Lanka’s strikingly multiethnic and multi-religious character. Blessed Joseph Vas, beatified by John Paul ii during his 1995 visit to the island, is portrayed on the right side of the cross. Blessed Vas' arrival in the country dates back to 1687. He travelled far and wide for 24 years until his death in 1711. One final detail: the logo is in the shape of a lotus, the national flower.

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