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Pope Francis sends greetings to North Macedonia

Pope Francis sends a video message to the people of North Macedonia on Saturday, saying he comes to sow the seeds of a culture of encounter and solidarity.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis will visit the Balkan nation of North Macedonia on Tuesday, on the second leg of his 29th Apostolic Journey abroad.

In a video message sent on Saturday, the Pope expressed his “joy and feelings of affection” for the people and Church in North Macedonia.

Encounter and solidarity

The Holy Father said he hopes to foster a culture of encounter and solidarity in the country.

“I will come among you to sow these seeds, sure in the knowledge that yours is good soil, and that it will be able to welcome them and bear fruit,” he said.

North Macedonia’s particular beauty, said Pope Francis, comes from its tapestry of cultures and ethnic and religious affiliations.

“Living together is not always easy, we know that,” he said. “But it’s worth struggling toward, because the most beautiful mosaics are the ones that are richest in colors.”

Mother Teresa

Pope Francis entrusted his one-day visit to North Macedonia to St. Teresa of Calcutta, who was born and raised in Skopje.

“Through the grace of God,” he said, “she became a courageous missionary of Christ’s charity in the world, giving comfort and dignity to the poorest of the poor.”

Finally, the Pope invited the people of North Macedonia to prepare for his arrival through prayer, so that his time there might “bear fruits of peace”.

“God bless you,” he concluded.

Listen to our report

A translation of the video message is below:

Dear brothers and sisters of North Macedonia!

Through this brief message, I would like to express to you my joy and the feelings of affection I feel for your people and for the Church in your land.

After your country gained independence, the Holy See sought to establish friendly and diplomatic relations.

Today, more than ever, there is a need to promote in Europe and throughout the world the culture of encounter and of solidarity, and I will come among you to sow these seeds, sure in the knowledge that yours is good soil, and that it will be able to welcome them and bear fruit.

The particular beauty of your country comes from the variety of cultures and ethnic and religious affiliations that inhabit it.

Living together is not always easy, we know that. But it’s worth struggling toward, because the most beautiful mosaics are the ones that are richest in colors.

I entrust my visit to the intercession of a great saint, a daughter of your land: Mother Teresa.

Born and raised in Skopje, through the grace of God she became a courageous missionary of Christ’s charity in the world, giving comfort and dignity to the poorest of the poor.

Dear friends, let us prepare our meeting through prayer, so that it may bear fruits of peace and all things good for all your people.

God bless you!

04 May 2019, 12:00