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Rome Reports

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Pope says to remember the totalitarian persecutions so they do not repeat

The pope traveled to Kaunas, the second most important city in Lithuania, for the most crowded ceremony he has during his trip.

From the popemobile, he toured Santakos Park, the place where John Paul II celebrated Mass 25 years ago.

Despite the cold, some 100 thousand people attended, including many families.

The pope recalled the suffering of the people of this land during the Nazi and Soviet occupations, with thousands of people executed or deported to Siberia, because of their race, religion or ideas.

Pope Francis asked the crowds to remember tragedies like the murder of 55 thousand Jews in the Vilnius Ghetto.

“Let us think back on those times, and ask the Lord to give us the gift of discernment to detect in time any recrudescence of that pernicious attitude, any whiff of it that can taint the heart of generations that did not experience those times and can sometimes be taken in by such siren songs. How often has it happened that one people considers itself superior, with greater acquired rights, with more privileges needing to be preserved or gained?”

The solution that the pope proposed is to give generously at the service of those who need it most, that is, the least in society.

Among the attendees, were also pilgrims from nearby countries, such as Russia, Poland, Norway, Ukraine and even Iceland.