Pope Francis will make a state visit to Lithuania in September
The Vatican has officially confirmed that Pope Francis will make a state visit to Lithuania on September 22-23 at the invitation of President Dalia Grybauskaitė and the Catholic Church.
The state visit will begin with a bilateral meeting between the Pope and the President of Lithuania. Following their meeting, the President and Pope Francis will greet the Lithuanian people, state and government officials, foreign diplomats, representatives of the academia, arts and civil society organizations in Daukantas Square.
The Pope will also meet with the Lithuanian faithful, youth, people with disabilities, former political prisoners and those who have suffered from Soviet repressions, as well as Holocaust survivors. He will visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy of the Gates of Dawn and the Museum of Genocide Victims. On the second day of his visit, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in Kaunas.
The President said that the Pope's visit was an event of historic significance. Lithuania has always felt the genuine support of the Holy See. The Vatican has never recognized the occupation of Lithuania. It has always supported resistance fights for Lithuanian independence, spreading information about the true state of things.
According to the President, the support and encouragement given by the Holy Father is just as important today for the human society riddled with bullying, violence, alienation, addiction, and suicide. The model example of the Catholic Church and its solidarity are crucial for strengthening community bonds, providing help and support to socially vulnerable people.
Pope Francis is one of the most recognized leaders in the world and a strong moral authority for millions of believers, who spreads the message of unity, love to fellow men and women, compassion, and peace. Pope Frances has repeatedly called for ending aggression against Ukraine, resolving conflicts by peaceful means and helping refugees fleeing from the horror of wars.
For his message of hope and encouragement to Europe, personal contribution to global peace and for reminding the world of the traditional values of solidarity, compassion and tolerance, Pope Frances was awarded the globally prestigious Charlemagne Prize in 2016.
The papal visit programme and information about media accreditation will be released at the end of July.