“With Mary and Joseph on the way to Jesus” is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for his upcoming journey to Slovakia which will take place from 12-15 September. The logo reflects the theme of the visit. A road symbolizing the journey to the cross is contained within a heart, which evokes the love shown to Jesus by Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary, Patroness of Slovakia. The seven stars refer to the traditional title of Mary as “Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows”. The various elements of the logo are depicted in the white, blue and red colours of the Slovakian flag and in the white and yellow of the Vatican.
The Virgin Mary, Mother of God, loved Jesus Christ with her whole heart and always stood by him in spite of danger and pain. The Slovak faithful are deeply devoted to the Sorrowful Mother and for centuries have prayed to her for help.
In his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, Pope Francis proposes the attractive example of the fatherly heart of Saint Joseph, who summons us to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus and to seek him always. The Holy Family encourages us to persevere on our journey toward Jesus.
The theme expresses our prayerful hope that the visit of Pope Francis to Slovakia will strengthen our faith and renew our desire to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life” (Mt 20:28).