By Vatican News staff reporter
With just forty days to go until the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis in Slovakia, the Pontifical Missionary Works of Slovakia has launched an initiative to prepare for his arrival on the 12 September.
A prayer "marathon" will take place from 7 August to 15 September and will require the faithful to recite the Rosary daily in church, at home or within their own community.
"We invite all people of good will - the organisers underline - to participate in the preparation of a 'spiritual bouquet', on which each believer will ideally place a flower, with a prayer for Slovakia and for the Pope".
For their part, the Slovakian bishops are encouraging the faithful to look to the example of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph, her Spouse, who they say, "guide us in the following of Jesus and lead us to recognise the traces of His presence in our lives, in expectation and in the deepest desires of our hearts".
“We are all invited to this journey of life, to this pilgrimage," continue the bishops, "individuals, families, communities. Pope Francis himself will take part in September and will encourage us personally".
In addition, the auxiliary bishop of Bratislava, Jozef Haľko, head of spiritual preparation for the papal visit in September, invites the faithful to pray the Rosary every day, so that the words that the Pope will pronounce in Slovakia "may fall on fertile ground and bear fruit in a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ".
The Pope’s visit to Slovakia will take place from the 12-15 September