22 Sep 2018 21:17

Pope Francis calls on Lithuanians for solidarity, peacefulness in his sermon by Vilnius' Gate of Dawn

VILNIUS. Sept 22 (Interfax/BNS) - Pope Francis in his sermon by the Gate of Dawn in Vilnuis has urged all believers to abandon hostility and "recognize each other as brothers" regardless of ethnic background and religion, the BNS news agency said on Saturday.

"We had built many fortresses in the past, but today we feel the need to look at each other and recognize each other as brothers, to go together with joy and find peace, experience the worth of brotherhood," the pontiff said before a prayer.

Families with many children, families with adoptive children, orphans and people with diseases were invited to a collective prayer with the pope by the Gate of Dawn. The pontiff talked with the people, who had a gathered, for several minutes on his way to the holy relic.

People of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, - Lithuanians, Poles, Belarussians, Russians, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, - gather near the miraculous icon of Virgin May of the Gate of Dawn installed in the gate every day, Pope Francis said.

He said he hopes this freedom would encourage solidarity and called to refrain from yielding to hostilities, which may be caused by competition of the open world.

"Dear brothers and sisters, let us experience the purifying power of our relations upon crossing this threshold and let the Blessed Mother help us to look at weaknesses of other people with mercy and humility without looking down at them," the pontiff said.

Pope Francis has begun his four-day visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Vilnius on Saturday.