The following is the text of the video message of greetings and thanks sent by the Holy Father Francis to the people of North Macedonia for his upcoming Apostolic Trip, which will take place from on 7 May, upon invitation by the highest authorities of the country:
Video Message of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters of North Macedonia!
Through this brief message I would like to express my joy and my sentiments of affection towards your people and for the Church who lives in your land.
After your country attained independence, the Holy See wished to establish a rapport of friendship and diplomatic relations. Nowadays, more than ever, there is a need to nurture in Europe and in the whole world the culture of encounter, the culture of fraternity, and I will come in your midst to sow these seeds, sure that yours is good soil, that will know how to receive them and bear fruit. Indeed, the special beauty of the face of your country is due precisely to the variety of cultures and the ethnic and religious groups that inhabit it. Certainly, co-existence is not ways easy, we know. But it is an effort worth making as the most beautiful mosaics are those most rich in colours.
I entrust my visit to the intercession of a great saint, daughter of your land: Mother Teresa. Born and raised in Skopje, she became with the grace of God 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 for our encounter with prayer, so that it may bear the fruit of peace and every good for all your people. God bless you!