Slovak Bishops in preparation for Francis’ visit

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According to the Bishops, this visit will be an opportunity to bring encouragement and hope.

Slovakia – Bratislava (July 20, 2021 08:00 PM  Gaudium Press) The Bishops of Slovakia have published a pastoral letter inviting the faithful to prepare spiritually for Pope Francis’ visit to the country. The Apostolic visit will take place from September 12 to 15, 2021.

The prelates recall that since the last visit of a pontiff to the country 18 years ago, there has been a generational change and a rapid development of society. They then invite the faithful to reflect on “what is Slovakia really like today? What do we wish it to be like tomorrow?”

Bible reading in preparation for Francis’ visit

“We are a country that is rightly proud of its ancient Christian, Cyrillic-Methodian roots. A country that spiritually unites West and East in its Latin and Byzantine Catholic communion. The first proclaimers of the Faith, the codifiers of the language, the personalities of the awakening, the missionaries, the martyrs, the dissidents… all these belong equally to the Church in Slovakia, as to the Slovak people. Our history, without the Catholic Church, would not be like this. This is what St. John Paul II reminded us of on the occasion of his visits.”

To help the faithful deepen their understanding of Pope Francis’ magisterium, the Bishops suggest reading the Bible to encounter Jesus in the Gospel. MOreover, they advise to read some of the main texts of Pope Francis’ magisterium.

A visit strengthening and deepening the Faith

With less than two months to go before the visit of the Holy Father, the prelates urge the faithful to prepare a welcome with joy, “but also in attentive expectation of his words, with spiritual availability, which is our duty towards the Holy Father.”

According to the Bishops, this visit will be an opportunity to bring encouragement after a series of bad news, weariness and distrust. “We have a great need for this strengthening and deepening in the Faith. Let us not stay on the surface,” they stated.

Intentions for community prayer

“May the Holy Father help us not only to put aside but also to put an end to all foolish disputes; give us strength to overcome worries; bring us together across the whole of society. May he unite us to one another, but,” the bishops hope.

On their official website, the Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia has published a series of intentions for joining in communal prayer. The prayers are focused on three areas: for the Pope, as a sign of communion with the Holy Father; for the Church in Slovakia, as a sign of responsibility for our country; and for the people of the world, as a sign of evangelical solidarity. (EPC)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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