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[31 May - 2 June 2019]



Dear Brothers and Sisters of Romania!

It is just a few days until the journey that will bring me among you. This thought gives me joy and I would now like to address my most cordial greeting to all of you.

I am coming to Romania, a beautiful and welcoming country, as a pilgrim and brother, and I thank the President and the nation’s other authorities for inviting me and for the full cooperation. I already foretaste the joy of meeting the Patriarch and the Permanent Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as the Pastors and Catholic faithful.

The bonds of faith that unite us date back to the Apostles, in particular to the bonds that united Peter and Andrew, who, according to tradition, brought the faith to your lands. Brothers by blood, they were also so in shedding their blood for the Lord. And there have also been many martyrs among you, even in recent times, such as the seven Greek Catholic Bishops whom I will have the joy of proclaiming Blesseds. What they suffered for, to the extent of offering their lives, is a legacy too precious to be forgotten. And it is a common heritage, which calls us not to distance ourselves from the brothers and sisters who share it.

I am coming among you to walk together. We walk together when we learn to safeguard roots and family, when we take care of the future of our children and of the brother or sister who is beside us, when we go beyond fears and suspicions, when we let fall the barriers that separate us from others.

I know that many are intensely preparing for my visit, and I thank you wholeheartedly. I assure all of you of my closeness in prayer and I impart my Blessing. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Arrivederci!

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