Pope Francis on Saturday, May 4, 2019, sent a video message to the people of North Macedonia in advance of his apostolic visit to the country May 7. It will be the second part of his trip, which includes a visit to Bulgaria on May 5-6.
Here is the text of the video:
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!