Vatican City, 2 June 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a video message to the population and the faithful of Bosnia and Herzegovina in view of his upcoming apostolic trip to the capital Sarajevo on Saturday 6 June. The following is the full text of the message.
“Dear brothers and sisters,
In just a few days I will travel to Sarajevo to be with you. This thought brings me joy, and I wish to extend my most cordial greetings to all of you who live in this city and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I will come among you, with the help of God, to confirm the faith of Catholics, to support ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and above all to encourage peaceful coexistence in your country. I invite you to join me in prayer so that this apostolic trip may bear the desired fruits for the Christian community and for society as a whole.
'Peace be with you'. This is the motto of my visit. They are the words with which the risen Jesus greeted his disciples when he appeared in their midst in the Cenacle, on the eve of Passover. It is He, the Lord, our strength and our hope, Who gives us His peace, so that we might welcome it in our heart and spread it with joy and with love.
For my part, I prepare to come among you as a brother, as a messenger of peace, to express to everyone – to everyone! – my respect and friendship. I would like to announce God's mercy, tenderness to every person, to every family and to every community.
Dear brethren of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I assure you all of my affection and my strong spiritual closeness. I encourage you, Catholics, to be witnesses of faith and God's love for your fellow citizens, working for a society that makes its way towards peace in fraternity and mutual collaboration.
As I await our encounter, I invoke upon Sarajevo and the entire country the Lord's blessing and the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary. Thank you!”