Pope Francis in Hungary

In his celebration of the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his wish that the Cross be “the bridge between the past and the future” for those gathered for the event.

Before reciting the Angelus prayer at the end of the mass on Heroes’ Square, the pope said the feeling of religion was what gave life to the Hungarian nation. However, the Cross planted in the ground “not only invites us to be well-rooted, but also reaches high and extends its arms to everyone”, he said. “The Cross invites us to be firm in our roots, but we must not be satisfied with this,” the pope said, adding that the faithful should also “draw from the fountain and give drink to those who thirst in our time”. “My wish is that you be grounded and open, rooted and considerate,” Francis said. He said the Mission Cross called on the faithful to preach the Gospel and the message of God’s eternal love. “In today’s world hungry for love, this is the nourishment that all Hungarians crave,” he said.

The pope thanked what he described as “the great Hungarian Christian family”, which he said he wanted to “embrace in its rites, its history, its brothers and sisters, both Catholic and those of other confessions: all journeying towards full unity”.

Pope Francis highlighted the courage of Saint Stephen, Hungary’s first Christian King, and Elizabeth of Hungary as examples of meeting Jesus Christ. The pope called on the faithful gathered for the mass in Heroes’ Square to “allow the meeting with Jesus to transform us in the eucharist the way it transformed the great and courageous saints whom you respect like Saint Stephen and Saint Elizabeth”. “Like them, we should not settle for little,” the pontiff said. “We should not settle for a faith that consists only of rituals and repetitions.” Francis said that although the Eucharistic Congress marked the end of a journey, it should, more importantly, mark “the beginning of another”. He said the meaning of God was not found in the catechism but required “a vital personal response”.

Orban met Pope Francis

Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish at his meeting with the pontiff in Budapest on Sunday, the PM’s press chief said. At the meeting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Orban presented Francis a copy of the letter Hungarian King Bela IV wrote to Pope Innocent IV in the 13th century, Bertalan Havasi said. Pope Francis also met with President Janos Ader, Hungarian bishops and the delegations of the Ecumenical Council of Hungarian Churches and Hungarian Jewish organisations at the museum. At his meeting with Orban and Ader, which was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, Pope Francis was accompanied by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister. The Vatican said the “cordial” meeting lasted about 40 minutes. Pope Francis and the Hungarian officials discussed the “role of the Church in the country, the commitment to the protection of the environment, and the protection and promotion of the family”, it said. Pope Francis presented Ader with a mosaic depicting the “Papal Blessing in St. Peter’s Square”, the Vatican said.

Source and photo: MTI

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