We do not have much time – not more than two months – before we welcome the Chief Shepherd of the Catholic Church Pope Francis in Tallinn. I am sure we have all often prayed for this event and I ask you to pray even more for the preparation and the fruits of this visit. I am very grateful to all the people – whether Catholics or not – who contribute with their work and effort in order to make this Pope Francis ‘visit a success. Every big event consists of thousands of details and actually, every small detail means a lot. Let us do it with love. Despite the fact whether the thing we are doing is small or big, visible or unnoticeable, the value of each task is created by love with which we fulfil it. In case there is little love, even the biggest task becomes insignificant, whereas if there is much love, even the tiniest action becomes important.
Pope Francis’ visit is our common undertaking depending on all of us. Spiritual preparation is more important than the material one. Throughout history, Christians have prepared themselves for big events, using prayers and fasting. Papal visit is certainly an important event for the Catholic Church in Estonia and for every Catholic personally. Dear brothers and sisters, now that the visit is nearing, I would like to ask all of you to prepare yourselves even more intensely.
The month of August is a special month in the church year because of the Virgin Mary feasts in August. The most important of them is obviously the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven on 15 August. However, there are also feasts of Our Lady of the Snows on 5 August and the Queenship of Mary on 22 August. In addition, of course, our pilgrimage to the St. Mary’s Chapel in Viru-Nigula on 25 August. During these days of worship of God’s Mother, I ask all of us to devote our Rosary prayers to the success of the visit of Pope Francis.
Fasting and prayers go always hand in hand. Therefore, I ask you also to devote at least one day to fasting with the same intention. This day could be Saturday, 1 September.
These moments of praying and fasting could be our joint commitment for the preparation of Papal visit. I am sure that God will accept our prayers and will give us more fruits than we can dream of.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you have not done it yet, I encourage you to register yourselves as soon as possible to the Papal Mass at the Liberty Square or to the Papal meeting with the youth at the Tallinn St. Charles’ Church. You can easily do it either through your congregation or via the webpage www.paavsteestis.ee where you can find all the necessary information. Finally, I ask you to try to invite many people to the Papal Mass. Not only Catholics, but also non-Catholics and especially those people who have left the Church during the last years and are waiting for us to reach out our friendly hand to them, so that they could feel themselves again as members of our family.
Joyfully anticipating our future meeting with Pope Francis on 25 September at the Liberty Square,
+ Bishop Philippe Jourdan
In Tallinn, 22.07.2018