Monsignor Frendo says while being awarded: 'I have always loved Albania; I have loved Albanians very much!”

President Meta praised the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tirana-Durrës, Monsignor George Anthony Frendo OP with the "Mother Teresa" Decoration with the motivation "In appreciation of the valuable contribution and activity for the revival of spiritual faith and hope for a better future, and for the active participation in the Interfaith Council and in many vital social issues. With gratitude for the consolidation of the institutions of cult and religious belief, as well as for the strengthening, further enrichment and promotion of harmony, tolerance and inter-religious coexistence of the Albanian people."

The solemn ceremony was held at the presidential headquarters with the participation of some guests of honor on Friday.

In his greeting speech Meta said that he was very happy to be in that special ceremony organized in honor of one of the most prominent personalities of the pastoral service in Albania, Monsignor George Frendo, awarding the high decoration 'Mother Tereza '. He said Albanians are grateful to Monsignor Frendo for all his twenty-five years of service in Albania; for the establishment of the Dominican mission in 1996; for the extraordinary work as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Tirana-Durrës, and above all for the great and endless love he has shown for Albania and Albanians.

'I have always loved Albania, I have loved Albanians very much!' These are his words, a constant refrain, which has been proven and evidenced by his work and life commitment during all these years, especially in the most difficult times that our country has gone through,” said the President.

Monsignor George Frendo has embodied and dedicated his life to the poorest, as well as to the most basic needs of life, providing medicine to the many sick, especially in the most difficult times. He has supported students, who could not afford the study costs, due to economic problems and has provided textbooks and school supplies for the children of poor families. His big heart has changed and warmed up the lives of many families and ordinary people.

"This extraordinary example of devotion to the needy, reminds us of our great saint and of all humanity, Mother Teresa, so today's decoration with this great name is the deserved gratitude we have to Monsignor George Frendo," said Meta.

He said Albania is proud of its religious harmony and coexistence, which are one of the most precious values for this country but also an example for the whole world. "Monsignor Frendo has been one of the main protagonists of the Inter-Religious Council in Albania, being an active participant and giving an important contribution to strengthening cooperation between our religious communities," said Meta.

According to him, his strong messages on the social problems of the country, especially the tragic phenomenon of youth departure, considering it as the greatest poverty that Albania is currently experiencing, or its constant appeal, to engage more, to build a more beautiful, more fraternal, more humane and more dignified Albania for Albanians, will remain strong messages even after the departure of Monsignor Frendo from Albania.

‘When we see Jesus as a child in a manger, in extreme poverty, in that little child we see human dignity, which is the foundation of human rights. Everyone who has the right to life has the right to a dignified life.'

“These are the words of Monsignor Frendo, which should serve us as a message for our entire society, to build a country with more rights, more respect for human dignity, more democracy and hope for the youth which must and deserves to build its future here. This is the message that Monsignor George Frendo has conveyed to us during the twenty-five years of service in our country,” said Meta in his speech.

"This will always remain the desire of his heart for Albania and the Albanians he loves, and, I assure you, Monsignor Frendo, we love you too and we will never forget you! Thank you for everything you have done for Albania and Albanians! You will always remain in our hearts and memories and always welcome to your home, not as in your own home! Thank you!”

After making a ‘travel’ in Albania’s past, he introduced a short CV of his mission in this Balkan country.  He unveiled that në vitin 1996 they had opened their mission in Albania in 1996 in a village in Durres, Sukth.

When receiving the Nobel Prize, Mother Teresa said: "I am grateful to receive it in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless ... of those who have become a burden to society, shunned by all." I would very much like to say the same words today, receiving this award! But it was the very same Mother Teresa who taught us how to do small things but with great love," said Mons. George Frendo in his speech full of pathos and love and devotion for the Albanians after the decoration was awarded by President Meta to him.

"I was still the superior of the Dominican priests of Malta. As soon as I finished my eight-year term as a superior, I came to Albania. It was July 16, the year of the riots, 1997. And the day I arrived I had just killed three people from a family. It was not a very pleasant welcome! A person from the village, when he saw me a little scared about this news, said to me: “No, do not be afraid. We protect you. But there is no forest without pigs! "It was the first time I heard that expression," he said.

He revealed that he stayed in Durrës until August 2006, because in September of the same year he was ordained auxiliary bishop of Monsignor Rrok Mirdita.

But I have to keep in mind the words of Jesus: “When you give alms, do not blow the trumpet in front of you, as the apostles do in the synagogues and on the highways to be revered by men. Verily I say unto you, They have parted with that reward. Every good is a gift from God, which we should use for his glory and for the good of others.

When receiving the Nobel Prize, Mother Teresa said: "I am grateful to receive it in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, ... those who have become a burden to society, shunned by all." How I wish I could say the same words today, receiving this award! But it was the same Mother Teresa who taught us how to do small things but with great love! Argumentum.al