President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The President accompanies the Holy Father in a journey across Lithuania

2018-09-23

Sunday, September 23, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending the Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Santakos Park, Kaunas.

Believers from all over Lithuania and pilgrims from other countries have gathered in Santaka for the Holy Mass, traditionally followed by the Angelus prayer – the main event of the Pope’s visit.

The President said, that we could witness today how faith united people, helping them to focus on best intentions and foster trust in each other.

In the afternoon, the President will accompany Pope Francis to Rūdninkai Square where they will pay tribute to the victims of the Vilnius Ghetto. The Holy Father will stop for a silent prayer by the monument. Today is the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews. It also marks 75 years since the liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto, whose inmates were shot dead in Paneriai or sent to the Nazi concentration camps.

According to the President, the loss of the large Lithuanian Jewish community during the war is extremely painful for Lithuania. It is symbolic that today Pope is going to pray at the site of the ghetto tragedy.

Later, the President and the Pope will visit the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, a former KGB prison, where the Holy Father will say prayers. Together with people in Lukiškės Square, the Pope will pray for those who died for the freedom of Lithuania at the Memorial to the Victims of Soviet occupation.

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Catholic Church played a significant role in our freedom fights against the occupation regime. The efforts of believers and clergymen to protect and promote the faith that was outlawed, their struggle for freedom was an important step towards national independence. We highly appreciate the Pope’s attention to Lithuania’s dedicated fight for freedom.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.09.23 11:13

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