An estimated one million people gathered at Madagascar’s Soamandrakizay stadium in the capital on Sunday to hear Pope Francis say mass on the second leg of his three-nation African tour. The massive crowd had waited patiently, stretching into the distance from the early hours, to see the first pontiff to visit the Indian Ocean island nation in 30 years. “Organisers estimate there are around one million people,” a Vatican spokesman said. Some described it as the biggest public gathering in Madagascar’s history. Many people wore pope-emblazoned white and yellow caps — the colours of the Vatican, and they cheered as the pope-mobile made its way through wind-swept clouds of red dust picked up from the stadium floor. During the homily, the Argentine pontiff urged them “to build history in fraternity and solidarity” and “in complete respect for the earth and its gifts, as opposed to any form of exploitation”. He spoke out against “practices that lead to the culture of privilege and exclusion” and criticised those who consider family “the decisive criterion for what we consider right and good”.