Pope Francis Announces Visit to Sarajevo in June

Says Visit Is Meant to Foster ‘Brotherhood and Peace’ During Sunday Angelus Address

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Pope Francis made a surprise announcement that he intends to visit Sarajevo on Saturday, June 6th. The Holy Father announced his trip to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square during his Sunday Angelus address.

«I would like to announce that on Saturday, June 6th, God-willing, I will go to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia Herzegovina,» the Pope said. «I ask today that you pray so that my visit to that dear population may be an encouragement for the Catholic faithful, arouse ferments of good and contribute to the consolidation of brotherhood and peace, of interreligious dialogue and friendship.»

Like his trip to Albania, the Holy Father’s visit to Sarajevo will be for one day. While there are still no details as to where he will stop in Sarajevo, the Pope’s visit will most likely entail an interreligious tone in a European country where 40% of the population identify themselves as Muslims. Orthodox Christians make up 31% and Roman Catholics are 15%.

The Power of God’s Word

During his address, the Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel which recalled Jesus preaching at the synagogue in Capernaum. The Pope noted that the authority with which Christ spoke astonished those who heard him because it carried with it the same authority of God.

This divine authority, he continued, is demonstrated when he freed a man possessed by a demon. «It was precisely the divine authority of Christ that brought out Satan’s reaction, hidden within that man,» the Pope said. «Jesus, for his part, immediately recognizes the voice of evil and «rebuked him and said, ‘Quiet! Come out of him!'»

The 78 year old Pontiff went on to say that the word of God astonishes with its strength and frees all who are enslaved by «so many evil spirits in this world: vanity, the attachment to money, pride and sensuality.»

«Always remember that the Gospel has the power to change life! Do not forget this! That is the good news that transforms us only when we allow ourselves to be transformed by it,» he said.

Concluding his address, the Holy Father reminded the pilgrims gathered to carry a pocket sized Gospel with them and read a passage daily, in order to nourish themselves every day «from this inexhaustible source of salvation.

«Do not forget, read a passage from the Gospel every day. It is the power that changes us, that transforms us, it changes life and it changes the heart,» he said.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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