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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis lands in Bratislava, makes joke about communism

The Pope arrived in Slovakia early Sunday afternoon. On his way down the stairs, pilgrims shouted greetings in Spanish. 

"Long live Pope Francis!"

There he was met by the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova.

“I fulfilled my promise.”

At the airport he greeted the country's political leaders, as well as a Holocaust survivor. 

The Pope also met a Catholic who was forced to practice his faith in secret during the country's communist rule. He then became the president of the Slovakian parliament after the country's transition to democracy. 

-I thank God for you. Every night my wife and I pray for you.
-Thank you, thank you.
-I pray that you will resist.
-Resist? That's a term from the anticommunist resistance.

The Pope will spend three nights in Bratislava and will visit four cities around the country. 

He is scheduled to celebrate a Mass in the Byzantine liturgy, meet with members of the Roma community, and address Slovakia's youth in a large assembly.