Pope’s visit

Lithuania: Bishops call people to get out and meet the Pope. “Faith and unity of the nation”. Tickets sold out for the Vilnius and Kaunas events

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“The Pope’s visit to our country is very important to boost faith and hope and to strengthen the foundations of a democratic society”, the Lithuanian bishops wrote in a message issued about two weeks before Pope Francis’s arrival in Vilnius, on September 22nd. Just like John Paul II’s visit in 1993 “became one of the greatest events in the just-reborn Lithuanian state”, now the country “is getting ready to an epoch-marking meeting”. There are three reasons for this: “it is a wonderful God’s gift” that “our small land will host such an important guest”; listening to his word will strengthen “our faith and our confidence in God’s merciful providence”; “all the world will talk about our country”, and this “will undoubtedly inspire more and more pilgrims and tourists to visit us”. As all the tickets for the events have sold out, the bishops call people “not to lose heart” and take “the opportunity to see” the Pope who, while driving through Vilnius and Kaunas, “will greet and bless all the people who get out and meet him”. His arrival will also be “a special opportunity for communion” and a chance to “experience, once again, that reviving rebirth” that was felt 100 years ago, when the country became independent, an experience shared with the other Baltic countries. That’s why the bishops call people to “give themselves and each other” “the inspiration of faith and joy for the unity of our nation”.