Pope Francis thanks Poles for World Youth Day
PR dla Zagranicy
Pope Francis has thanked Poles and the Roman Catholic Church in Poland for hosting World Youth Day, one of the largest international religious gatherings.
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall, Vatican City, 3 August. Photo: EPA/ANGELO CARCONI
Addressing Poles during a general audience on Wednesday, the pope said: "Brothers and sisters, through you I thank the Polish people and the Church in Poland for this great festival of youth that we were able to experience in Kraków."
World Youth Day ended on Sunday with a mass at which Pope Francis bid farewell to around two million pilgrims who had flocked to the southern Polish city of Kraków.
The pope said on Wednesday at the Vatican: "Once again I express my gratitude to the president of Poland, other representatives of the authorities, the Cardinal Archbishop of Kraków and the entire Polish Episcopate and to all those who in various ways prepared and made possible this event, which gave Poland, Europe and the world a sign of living faith, a sign of brotherhood and peace.”
Pope Francis then prayed for Polish Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, a close friend of the late Pope John Paul II. The cardinal died on Tuesday at the age of 89.
During his visit for World Youth Day last week, Pope Francis made an unannounced stop at the University Hospital in Kraków to talk to doctors caring for the cardinal.
During his five-day pilgrimage to Poland, Pope Francis visited the former Nazi German Auschwitz concentration camp, celebrated masses, visited a children's hospital and held a string of meetings with young Catholic faithful from all over the world. (pk)