Five young people’s expectations for the Pope’s visit
Twenty years after the end of the civil war here, Bosnia’s young people are looking forward to the Pope’s visit this coming Saturday, June 6. Starting today and through to Friday, we would like to offer you five of their stories expressing their enthusiasm as they await the Holy Father’s visit to their homeland, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
It is true. I am very far away – thousands of kilometers away from my beloved Sarajevo. I will not be able to meet Pope Francis in person. But I will be there in spirit and in prayer, and in the company of my sisters Liberija and Mirjam.
From a faraway Haiti, we are closely following the preparations and events leading up to the Pope’s visit to Sarajevo, fully supporting this visit through our humble prayers and sacrifices for all to unfold as it should.
I consider the Pope’s visit to be an example of a father’s attention for his children in a poor Bosnia-Herzegovina. Through this visit, he wishes to bring encouragement and support to his children. It is well known that Pope Francis devoted his life to the service of the poor, earlier as a cardinal and today as Pope. I am happy because we can see and have the experience through this Pope of the veritable attention God gives to us and to our people.
My most precious memory is when I walked along the streets of my poor Sarajevo; I remember the Servants of God, Josip Stadler, the first archbishop of Vrhbosna and the founder of the “Servants of the Child Jesus.” This order was devoted to and worked for the poor and needy in Sarajevo in order to alleviate the suffering and allow these people to live their lives in dignity and I the hope of a better future.
Our Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina are not only surrounded by material poverty, but she also was affected by other forms of material and moral poverty: relationships between people, high rates of unemployment among the young, isolation and solitude especially among the elderly – a desperate loss of meaning, an ever-growing number of socially vulnerable children and abandoned children; broken families, a lack of sympathy and support.
Thanks to the upcoming papal visit to Sarajevo, we can see that the Pope has acknowledged all our forms of poverty and that is why he is coming to encourage us and finally to call for a stronger inter-religious cooperation so that everyone here, in our magnificent Bosnia-Herzegovina, might live a dignified life.