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Giving Thanks for the Witness and Strength of the Albanian People


Vatican Radio - published on 09/24/14

I have entrusted this message of hope, founded on faith in Christ and on the memory of the past, to the whole population of Albania, whom I saw enthusiastic and joyful in my meetings and in the celebrations, as well as in the streets of Tirana. I encouraged everyone to draw new energy from the Risen Lord, to be able to be an evangelical leaven in society and to engage, as is already being done, in charitable and educational activities.

I give thanks once more to the Lord because, with this voyage He allowed me to meet a strong and courageous people, [a people] that has not allowed themselves to be bent in pain. To the brothers and sisters of Albania I renew the invitation to courage to do good, to build the present and the future of their country and of Europe. I entrust the fruits of my visit to the Madonna of Good Counsel, venerated in the Sanctuary of Shkoder dedicated to her, that she might continue to guide the path of this martyr-people. The bitter experience of the past is ever more rooted in the openness towards the brothers, especially the weakest, and makes it the protagonist of that dynamism of charity that is so necessary in today’s socio-cultural context. I would like for all of us today to salute this courageous, hard-working people, who seek unity in peace. 

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