(Vatican Radio) In preparation for his one day visit to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday, Pope Francis has sent a video-message to the people of Sarajevo.
Listen to our report:
The Holy Father said that he hopes his visit will confirm the faith of Catholics, support ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and especially encourage peaceful coexistence for all citizens of the country. The motto for the visit is “Peace be with you”, taken from Jesus’ encounter with the apostles on the evening of Easter.
The Apostolic Visit is scheduled to last for a little less than eleven hours, but the Holy Father will be busy from the moment he lands in Sarajevo on Saturday morning until he takes off in the evening.
After he has been welcomed at the Presidential Palace by President Bakir Izetbegović, the highlight of the visit will be the celebration of Holy Mass at 11:00 (UTC) at the Olympic Koševo stadium.
Later, he will meet with a host of people including civil authorities, Bishops, priests, religious and seminarians of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will attend an Ecumenical and Interreligious meeting at 17:30 (UTC) before travelling to the ‘John Paul II’ Diocesan Youth Centre to meet with young people.
The Pope said in his video-message, “I am preparing to come among you as a fellow messenger of peace, to express to everyone – everyone! – my respect and my friendship. I would like to express to every person, every family, and every community the mercy, tenderness and love of God.”
Below, please find the full text of the video-message of Pope Francis
POPE FRANCIS’ VIDEO-MESSAGE FOR THE APOSTOLIC VISIT TO SARJEVO
Dear brothers and sisters,
In a few days I will travel to Sarajevo to meet you. This gives me joy, and I extend my cordial greetings to all of you who live in the city and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With the help of God I come among you to confirm the faith of Catholics, to support ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and especially to encourage peaceful coexistence in your country. I invite you to join me in prayer, so that this Apostolic Visit may produce the desired fruits for the Christian community and the entire society.
“Peace be with you”. This is the motto of my visit. They are the words with which the risen Jesus greeted His disciples when He appeared among them in the Upper Room, on the evening of Easter. It is He, the Lord, our strength and our hope, who gives us His peace, that we might welcome it into our hearts and spread it with joy and with love.
For my part, I am preparing to come among you as a fellow messenger of peace, to express to everyone – everyone! – my respect and my friendship. I would like to express to every person, every family, and every community the mercy, tenderness and love of God.
Dear brethren of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I assure you all of my affection and my strong spiritual closeness. I encourage Catholics to be witnesses to their fellow citizens of the faith and love of God, working for a society that makes ways towards peace in brotherhood and in mutual cooperation.
In the meantime, I invoke on Sarajevo and the entire country the blessing of the Lord and the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary. Thank you, and see you soon!
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