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Makgoba says pray for ailing Mandela

28 June 2013

THE Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, visited Nelson Mandela in hospital in Pretoria on Tuesday to offer "spiritual support" and prayer. As the Church Times went to press on Wednesday, reports suggested that the former South African President, who is 94, was nearing the end of his life.

Mr Mandela has been receiving treatment in hospital for a lung infection (News, 14 June). The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said on Monday that Mr Mandela's condition had become critical. "All of us in the country should accept the fact that Madiba [Mr Mandela's clan name] is now old," he said. "As he ages, his health will . . . trouble him, and I think what we need to do as a country is to pray for him."

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa published a prayer on Tuesday, which it said had been used by Archbishop Makgoba "to offer spiritual support" to Mr Mandela.

The prayer says in part: "Make your compassionate and strengthening presence known to Graça [Mr Mandela's wife], and to all who love Madiba, at this hard time of watching and waiting. Fill them with your holy courage and the gift of trusting faith, and take away their fears so that they may dare to face their grief and bring it to your presence. . .

"Guide the medical staff so that they may know how to use their skills wisely and well, in caring for Madiba and keeping him comfortable. And uphold all of us with your steadfast love so that we may be filled with gratitude for all the good that he has done for us and for our nation, and may honour his legacy through our lives."

On Monday, the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, published a prayer for Mr Mandela, asking God to "look with mercy on Madiba Mandela; and on all your children in South Africa."

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