The pontiff's first visit to Poland is darkened by recent terrorist attack in the world
Pope Francis is paying a five-day visit to the southern city of Krakow in Poland, where the World Youth Day celebration is being held. The pontiff is expected to address more than two million Catholics, who came to the country from all over the world to take part in the event.
Upon his arrival at the Wawel Castle on Wednesday, June 27, Pope Francis was greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda.
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"This is my first visit to Central-Eastern Europe, and I am happy to begin with Poland, the homeland of the unforgettable Saint John Paul II, originator and promoter of the World Youth Days", Pope Francis said, according to Poland's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The Pope delivered a speech on the country's history and religious culture. He also referred to the Joint Declaration between the Catholic Church in Poland and the Orthodox Church of Moscow. He called it an act of "rapprochement and fraternity between the Churches and the people".
"The noble Polish nation has thus shown how one can nurture good memory while leaving the bad behind," he said.
The Pontiff is planning to participate in a youth jamboree, which marks the weeklong celebration of World Youth Day.
At one point, Pope Francis tripped and fell. However, he continued Mass after other clergy members helped him get up.
Video by Associated Press
The event started on Tuesday with a mass tribute to the victims of recent terror attacks around the world. Pope Francis is expected to honor the memory of French Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, murdered in a suspected Islamic militants attack in northern France.
World Youth Day was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1985. It is celebrated every three years in a different country.
Among the attendees of World Youth Day are at least five thousand Ukrainians. 2016 is the first year when organizers provided an official Ukrainian translation of the event.