Pope Francis is paying tribute to the Lithuanians who suffered and died during Soviet and Nazi occupations on the day the country remembers the near extermination of its centuries-old Jewish community during the Holocaust.

Faithful gather to follow Pope Francis’ celebrating Holy Mass at the Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Faithful gather to follow Pope Francis’ celebrating Holy Mass at the Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Faithful gather to follow Pope Francis’ celebrating Holy Mass at the Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

Francis began his second day in the Baltics by travelling to Lithuania’s second city, Kounas, where an estimated 3,000 Jews survived out of a community of 37,000 during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation.

Faithful gather to follow Pope Francis’ celebrating Holy Mass at the Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
A woman prays as they wait for Pope Francis to arrive to celebrate a Mass in Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Pope Francis greets the crowd on his Popemobile as he arrives for a meeting with youths at the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday Sept. 22, 2018. Pope Francis begins a four-day visit to the Baltics amid renewed alarm about Moscow’s intentions in the region it has twice occupied. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

After Mass, Francis is to continue the remembrance with a visit later Sunday to a museum in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius that is dedicated to the horrors of five decades of Soviet occupation.

People pray as they wait for Pope Francis to arrive to celebrate a Mass in Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
A woman prays as they wait for Pope Francis to arrive to celebrate a Mass in Confluence Park in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Pope Francis is on the second of his two-day visit to Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Pope Francis greets the crowd on his Popemobile as he arrives for a meeting with youths at the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday Sept. 22, 2018. Pope Francis begins a four-day visit to the Baltics amid renewed alarm about Moscow’s intentions in the region it has twice occupied. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

He will also pray at the Vilnius Ghetto, which 75 years ago Sunday was finally destroyed and its remaining Jewish residents executed or sent off to concentration camps.

Source: The Associated Press

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