POPE Francis has announced he will visit Albania in September, and has implored faithful worldwide to pray for those suffering in Iraq.
Following the midday Angelus prayer on June 15, the Pontiff announced that on September 21, he will visit the Albanian city of Tirana.
“With this brief trip I wish to confirm in the faith the Church in Albania, and offer my encouragement and love to a country that has suffered greatly as a result of the ideologies of the past,” he said.
Albania is about 10 per cent Catholics.
The Holy Father also expressed his concern at the dramatic events unfolding in Iraq, and conveyed his hope that the future will bring peace and reconciliation for the people of the country.
He invited the thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square to “join with me in prayer for the beloved Iraqi nation, especially the victims and those who suffer most keenly the consequences of the escalation of violence, and in particular those, including many Christians, who have had to flee their homes”.
“I wish security and peace upon all the population and hope for a future of reconciliation and justice, in which all Iraqis, regardless of their religious beliefs, will be able to build their homeland together, making it into a model of co-existence,” he said.