By Ononye VC
Pope Francis will make an apostolic journey to the European nation of Hungary from 28 to 30 April, where he will follow a busy itinerary in the country’s capital of Budapest.
A statement from the press office of the director of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, announced on Monday, “Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities.”
The papal visit will mark Pope Francis’ 41st apostolic journey abroad.
During his three-day journey, the pope will visit refugees and poor people, as well as children of the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute.
As is customary, the Holy Father will address authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps; young people; bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers; and representatives of the academic and cultural world.
More than half of Hungarians are Christian, and at least 37 percent of the population identify as Catholic.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, nearly 1 million Ukrainian nationals have travelled through Hungary as refugees, according to local sources.
The Holy Father had made a brief stop in the country’s capital of Budapest to celebrate Mass for the closure of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress on 12 September 2021, on his way to Slovakia.
Pope Francis had also shown his closeness to the Hungarian faithful during his visit to Romania, when he celebrated Mass at the popular Hungarian pilgrimage site of Csíksomlyó (Șumuleu Ciuc) in the Transylvania region of Romania.
Transylvania had once been part of Hungary, but became Romanian territory in 1920. Ethnic Hungarians in Romania total more than one million people.