Ahead of his Apostolic visit to Skopje on May 7, Pope Francis sent a message to all citizens of Macedonia, saying he comes to sow the seeds of a culture of encounter and solidarity.

In a video message sent on Saturday, the Pope expressed his “joy and feelings of affection” for the people and Church in Macedonia.

The Holy Father said he hopes to foster a culture of encounter and solidarity in the country.

“I will come among you to sow these seeds, sure in the knowledge that yours is good soil, and that it will be able to welcome them and bear fruit,” he said.

North Macedonia’s particular beauty, said Pope Francis, comes from its tapestry of cultures and ethnic and religious affiliations.

“Living together is not always easy, we know that,” he said. “But it’s worth struggling toward, because the most beautiful mosaics are the ones that are richest in colors.”

Pope Francis entrusted his one-day visit to North Macedonia to St. Teresa of Calcutta, who was born and raised in Skopje.

“Through the grace of God,” he said, “she became a courageous missionary of Christ’s charity in the world, giving comfort and dignity to the poorest of the poor.”

Finally, the Pope invited the people of North Macedonia to prepare for his arrival through prayer, so that his time there might “bear fruits of peace”.

“God bless you,” he concluded.

Source: Vatican News