The sitting President of Bosnia, Željko Komšić met with Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The Balkan country is confronting a period of great challenges. Among them, healing the wounds left over after the country’s civil war in the 1990’s.
That’s why the Pope’s gift, his annual message of peace, carried special meaning in their exchange.
-'This year's statement for peace, the Message of Peace, which I signed for you today.'
The current president of Bosnia gave the Pope this history book, on the “Kingdom of Bosnia.”
Their meeting lasted just over thirty minutes, and Pope Francis extended an emotional goodbye to President Komšić.
-'Thank you very much for the visit. Go forward. Thank you.'
Pope John Paul II visited Bosnia twice, and Pope Francis did so once in 2015. It was a trip filled with intense testimonies of the war and lots of emotion.
He passed by several cemeteries in the popemobile to give burial rites to more than 11 thousand people who died in the war. There, he tried to encourage dialogue and help the country to take steps towards reconciliation.