Date today: 25.09.2018  |  Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo

Pope Francis will visit Latvia on September 24

9.March, 2018, 11:08

Today at 13.00 Eastern European time the Holy See Press Office announced that the Holy Father Pope Francis will set for an apostolic visit to the Baltic States on 22–25 September 2018. He will visit Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga, Aglona, and Tallinn. The Pope will arrive in Latvia on 24 September. The bishops of the Roman Catholic Church of Latvia express their joy over the expected visit.

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Riga Zbigņevs Stankevičs believes that Pope Francis’ visit will bring great blessings of God to our nation. He also wants us to be aware of the fact that we are among the chosen since there are very many countries that have invited the Pope for a visit. When choosing the countries to be visited, including Latvia, Pope Francis insinuates how important they are to him.

„It was 25 years ago that Pope John Paul II visited Latvia. His visit to Latvia cemented our sense of value and encouraged us to gradually solve the complicated, insecure and risky situations we faced at the time. It is 25 years after the visit of Pope John Paul II that Pope Francis has promised to come in order to once again encourage and uphold us on this road of complex changes. He is first of all concerned with the small and those unvalued by the world’s greatest, but throughout the history of the world God has so often used just them to do the greatest things. I am convinced that Latvia is entrusted with a special mission in God’s plan. In this outstanding year of Latvia’s Centenary Jubilee, let the visit of Pope Francis help us to better see it, appreciate and fulfil it!” was the wish of Archbishop Stankevičs.

The Bishop of Liepaja Viktors Stulpins thinks that every visit of the Pope turns the world’s attention to the country visited, and it is important for us as a small country. „The courageous statements of Pope Francis on various socially significant subjects are another crucial aspect. I hope that the words pronounced in our country will also make people reassess their activity and urge them to change in order to serve the common good.”

On 13 March it will be five years since the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope and took the papal name Francis. Since the very first day of his service he invites the world to turn to the poor and the weakest, he is not afraid of straightforward language as regards social injustice, and he is working on transparent financial system in his own country without being afraid of losing income. He speaks of environmental issues and wants people to be cautious with the use of non-renewable natural resources. He is concerned with the family dignity and welfare, as well as the inner revival of the faithful.

Pope Francis is a moral authority not only for the Christians. The British broadcasting company BBC and the Times magazine have acknowledged Pope Francis as one of the most popular and influential people in the world. It is proved by the fact that his Twitter account has most followers. Pope Francis’ key message throughout his Pontificate is that respect towards each and every person is the basis on which we can build a peaceful and prosperous society.

Contact information: Information Centre of the Roman Catholic Church of Latvia, info@catholic.lv, tel. + 371 26569731, www.katolis.lv

The Pope's visit logo is designed to outline the historical and spiritual importance of Pope Francis visit to Latvia. The inscription of His name “Pope Francis” and the year of His visit to our country “Latvia 2018” is highlighted and situated above the silhouette of the map of Latvia.

The words “Show thyself a Mother!” written in Latin and Latvian expresses the spiritual meaning of this historical event. This sentence Monstra te esse Matrem is taken from ancient popular liturgical hymn Ave Maris Stella. Moreover it is inscribed under the icon of Our Lady of Aglona.

The image of Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Aglona symbolically embraces our land: She is Mother of God, the Queen of Terra Mariana. This icon indicates importance of the largest Christian shrine ― basilica of Aglona for our country. The golden light radiates from Child and His Mother all over the country.

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