Pope arrives in Latvia: Build the future with gestures that generate life
As soon as he arrived in Latvia, the pope was greeted with this musical surprise.
The pope listened attentively to them... and then thanked all the young girls one by one.
Pope Francis then went to an old castle, now the presidential palace, for the official welcoming ceremony.
There he was met by the president of the country, Raimonds Vējonis, who came out to the main door to greet him.
The president showed him some of the rooms before meeting with him in private.
There also in the presidential palace, the pope met with about 500 representatives of civil society: politicians, magistrates and ambassadors.
The pope asked them, after a past marked by conflicts and divisions caused by totalitarianism, to build the future by helping people.
“If today we can celebrate, it is due to all those who blazed trails and opened a door to the future, and bequeathed to you that same responsibility: to open a door to the future by looking to everything that stands at the service of life, of generating life.”
As part of the State protocol, the pope and the President placed flowers in front of the Monument of Liberty.
They built it in 1935 during a short period of freedom, and managed to keep it from being demolished during the Soviet occupation.
The low temperatures of the Baltic States contrast with the Roman heat, and the pope has had a bit of a cold.
But that doesn't prevent him from enjoying the people's company and warmth.