Popemobile Assembled in Madagascar Regarded A Symbol of Hope

Popemobile made in Madagascar for Pope Francis by the company Karenjy

The popemobile that was assembled in Madagascar and officially unveiled Friday, August 30 has been described as a symbol of hope for the island country in the Indian Ocean.

“This popemobile, which is fruit of the ingenuity and hard work of the Malagasy people is a strong symbol and a message of hope for all,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Madagascar told reporters at an unveiling ceremony in Antananarivo.

Archbishop Paolo Rocco Gualtieri who is the Apostolic Nuncio to Madagascar said "Pope Francis does not just love, he also receives love and agrees to be loved using a Malagasy car, which will facilitate the transmission of the gospel message."


The vehicle which is a Mazana II model from Karenjy, will accompany the Pope throughout his visit to Madagascar from September 6-10.

“I think Pope Francis will be very happy to greet the people of Madagascar from the ‘Karenjy’ Popemobile,” the Pope’s representative in Madagascar observed.

Making reference to the recommendations from the Vatican with regard to the specifications of the vehicle, the head of the commercial department at Karenjy, Henri Roussel said, “The Vatican requested the use of the white color and demanded that the car should not be armored.”

“The car is equipped with a Peugeot engine, like all other Mazana II models,” Mr. Roussel revealed and added, “the rear suspension has been strengthened, and the weight distribution revised so as to allow the bodyguards to accompany the Holy Father.”

A commercial agent at Karenjy, Jean Fleurys made more revelations around the personnel involved in assembling the Popemobile saying, “In total, about fifteen people from the Soatao workshop in Fianarantsoa worked on this popemobile.”

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“Two of these employees also participated in the manufacture of the Popemobile used by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1989,” Mr. Fleurys added.

Like other Popemobiles previously assembled in the countries the Holy Father has visited, the Madagascar one will remain in the country after the departure of Pope Francis.

According the organizers of the Pope’s visit in Madagascar, the vehicle will be entrusted to the Archbishop of Antananarivo.

The car used by John Paul II, on the other hand, is still used by the diocese of Fianarantsoa in Madagascar.


The Holy Father is expected to begin his Apostolic trip to Africa in the Southern Africa nation of Mozambique on September 4.

The Popemobile the Pontiff will use in Maputo was shipped from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi through Mombasa port.

Pope Francis will conclude his three-nation pastoral visit to Africa with Mauritius, where he will arrive and leave the same day, September 9.

Previously, the Pope visited Kenya, Uganda, and Central African Republic in November 2015, Egypt in April 2017, and Morocco in March 2019.

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.