The Pope’s visit to Budapest and Slovakia from the 12-15 of September has been warmly welcomed by Slovakia’s president, Zuzana Čaputová.
When Pope Francis announced he was going to both Budapest and Slovakia during the Sunday Angelus, Slovak pilgrims in St Peter’s Square responded by waving the flag of their country and applauding loudly.
Slovakia’s foreign minister, Ivan Korcok, described the trip as a “great honor for Slovakia,” while the nation’s president, Zuzana Caputova, said, “I believe that the presence of Pope Francis will be for all of us a message of reconciliation and hope in these difficult times.”
Francis’ visit to Slovakia will include the cities of Bratislava, Presov, Kosice, the Vatican said in a statement.
The program also includes an important pilgrimage site, Šaštín, which is located near Břeclav, the area affected by the tornado in South Moravia. Will the pope continue his visit to the Czech Republic?
Moreover, September 15, marks 1100 years since the assassination of St Ludmila, the first Czech and Slavic saint, founder of the ruling dynasty, and grandmother of the man who became the country’s patron, St Wenceslas.
This will be the third papal visit to Slovakia since the country became independent in January 1993. John Paul II indeed visited Slovakia twice before, in 1995 and 2003.
Pope Francis added that he would celebrate the closing mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest on September 12.
Although more detailed plans for the trip will be announced later, there was no sign the pope intends to meet Hungary’s political leaders during his stop in Budapest.
Our correspondent also said that the Pope’s visit to both Hungary and Slovakia is an encouragement to the faithful following the COVID-19 pandemic.