President Dalia Grybauskaitė bid farewell to Pope Francis. The Holy Father, who was on a state visit to the Baltic States, stayed in Vilnius during his journey. He is leaving for a one day visit to Estonia today and will then travel back to Rome.
The President thanked the Pope for his attention to Lithuania, his warmth shared with people and inspiring words that would linger in the hearts of many for a long time.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, this visit was a generous gift to our people and to Lithuania, celebrating the centennial of national independence. Pope Francis’ view of Lithuania as a possible source of light should encourage our self-confidence and self-esteem. It builds up trust and faith in Lithuania’s future and people.
The President presented the Pope with a photo album of the most beautiful churches of Vilnius before his departure.
The farewell ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Catholic Church and several hundreds of volunteers who contributed to the organization of the visit. They presented a volunteer’s t-shirt as a gift to the Pope.
The President extends her gratitude to the people of Lithuania, volunteers, authorities, police, security staff, and everyone who have made the multi thousand meetings successful. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania has demonstrated that it is a mature state capable of organizing high level visits effectively.
The Pope’s visit received a great deal of public attention. The Holy Mass in Kaunas was attended by more than 100 thousand people, over 30 thousand of youth came to see the Pope in Vilnius, people welcomed him in Daukantas Square and crowded along the routes of his motorcade.