Pope Francis decided to visit Albania, on his fourth international visit, and the first in Europe.
"With this brief journey I wish to confirm the Albanian Church in faith and to testify to my encouragement to a land that has suffered for a long time as a result of the ideologies of the past" said the pontiff announcing the visit.
An Albanian past, where religious and believers have long suffered, in one of the most ferocious totalitarian regimes in Europe as was that of Enver Hoxha.
In memory of all this, photos of the martyrs of the faith during the dictatorship were displayed along the main street of Tirana, to remind everyone that the religious harmony in which we live today is a fundamental asset to be preserved and transmitted to the world.
The preparations for the pontiff's visit were impressive and the government's efforts were visible and tangible everywhere. Piazza Madre Teresa has been restored, the buildings around restored to their original splendor, the public spaces freed from illegal buildings and the green spaces filled with colorful plants and flowers.
Tomorrow, Sunday 21, the Pope will celebrate Holy Mass at 11: 00 in Piazza Madre Teresa, where hundreds of thousands of people from many European countries are expected. Buses with Poland, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Slovenia, etc., have crowded Tirana today, and an impressive presence of journalists from all over Europe has been the backdrop for the organization.
Today, in a Tirana free from the omnipresent chaos of cars, people and many families with children have returned to stroll on the main course decorated for the occasion. "I am a Muslim, but tomorrow I will be in the streets because I think the Pope speaks to all people of faith and common sense" a very young girl tells us.
And this was also the message sent by the Pontiff to the announcement of the visit, which we hope will become a global message for all those countries where religious reasons become the pretext for clashes and wars. After years of not completely positive image, this visit brings to the world the best of Albania, its model of coexistence and religious harmony.
Sheshi ku fingers qe po vjen do te mbetet pergjithmone ne historine and ketij sell :-) pic.twitter.com/XLnBOu4F00
- Edi Rama (@ediramaal) 20 September 2014
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