Hungary celebrates the return of Pope Francis
Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, revealed some details about Pope Francis's 41st Apostolic Journey abroad, visiting the majority-Christian Hungary between 28-30 April.
“Pope Francis is maintaining his promise to the people of Hungary to return” Mr Bruni said, referring to the Pope’s commitment from 2021. His Holiness paid a visit to Budapest, celebrating Mass for the closure of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress on 12 September 2021, on his way to Slovakia.
In an interview with Vatican News, Ambassador Eduard Habsburg of Hungary to the Holy See talked about the enthusiasm of Hungarian people and how this visit could fire up their faith.
The Holy Father’s three-day visit bears the motto ‘Christ is our future’. It is more important than ever to offer his closeness to those who suffer, as the war in Ukraine gave rise to distress on Hungary’s North-East border.
The Pope has been very vocal about the need to welcome migrants and those forced to flee. Since the beginning of the conflict, Hungary has taken in about 1 million Ukrainian refugees. Those who stayed – around 30,000 – were offered jobs, places to live and their kids were put into schools. Many of them will be present in St Elizabeth’s Church on the 29th of April. During his visit Pope Francis will meet refugees, poor people and children of the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute. One of the major topics he will discuss is going to be the nearby suffering and the need for peace.
The Hungarian government has introduced measures to smooth participation in the Pope’s visit, including free transit for those attending events.
The whole visit will take place in Budapest, honouring the Hungarian heritage of many saints, several of whom originated from noble families and dedicated their lives to looking after the ill people and the poor.