(ZENIT News / Budapest, 04.29.2023).- At 8:30 am today, after celebrating the Holy Mass in private, Pope Francis left the Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest and went to the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute.
On his arrival at 8:36 am, he was received at the main entrance by the Director, György Inotay, who showed the Holy Father some classrooms of the Institution, while they walked together to the Refectory.
Then the Director addressed the brief welcome greeting to the Pontiff, which was followed by the singing of the Hail Mary , a girl’s performance of a piece with a flute, the singing of the Hymn to Charity and a song of Thanksgiving.
After the exchange of gifts, the praying of the Our Father and the Final Blessing, before leaving the building the Director accompanied the Pope to the Work Room on the ground floor, where he met and greeted briefly the Institute’s employees.
At the end of the visit, the Holy Father went by car to the church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, for a meeting with poor people and refugees. On the road, as he left the Institute, the Pope paused to greet a group of some 100 children and young people in a nearby parish dedicated to Saint Laszlo, who were waiting for him with prayers and songs along the road. With them were some local residents.
There, the Pontiff spontaneously addressed those present with these words:
“Thank you very much for your welcome and tenderness. Thank you for your songs, for your gestures, for your look. Thank you, Mr Director, because you wished to begin this event with Saint Francis’ prayer, which is a program of life. Because the Saint always asked for the grace that, where there is nothing I can do something, when something is lacking, I can do something. In walking from the reality as it is, to take it forward, to make the reality walk. And this is pure Gospel. Jesus came to take the reality as it was and take it forward. It would have been easier to take ideas, ideologies, and take them forward without taking the reality into account. This is the evangelical way, this is Jesus’ way. And this is what you, Mr Director, wished to express with the prayer of Saint Francis. Thank you. And thank you to everyone.”
Meeting with Poor People in the Church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Visit to the Greek-Catholic Community
Later, at 9:19 am, leaving the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute, the Pontiff went to the church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, where he met with poor people and refugees.
On his arrival, he was received at the entrance of the Church by the President of Caritas-Hungary and the Parish Priest, who gave him the cross and holy water for the aspersion. Then, they went together from the nave to the altar, while the choir peerformed a song. After the words of greeting of the President of Caritas-Hungary, Monsignor Antal Spányi, Bishop of Székesfehérvár, a Greek-Catholic family, a family of refugees from Ukraine and a Deacon and his wife gave their testimonies, after which the Holy Father pronounced his address.
According to the local Authorities, some 600 people attended the meeting, inside the church, and some 1,000 were outside in the patio.
At the end, after praying the Our Father, the Blessing and the final song of a gypsy group, the Pontiff left the church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and went to the Protection of the Mother of God Greek-Catholic Church of Budapest to greet the Greek-Catholic community.
Meeting with Young People
In the afternoon, after leaving the Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest, the Holy Father went by car to the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna for the meeting with young people.
On his arrival, after changing cars and after driving around some 12,000 young people present, the Pope was received by the Bishop in charge of Youth Pastoral Care, Monsignor Ferenc Palánki, Bishop of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza, while a song was performed.
Then, after the Bishop’s greeting, a traditional dance and the testimonies of four young people, Pope Francis gave his address.
At the end of the meeting, after praying the Our Father, the Blessing and the final song, the Holy Father returned to the Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest, where he received the Mayor of Budapest, D. Gergely Szilveszter Karáksony, with his wife and children. The meeting, which unfolded in a family atmosphere, lasted about 15 minutes.
Subsequently, in the Pontifical Representation Room, the Pope met in private with the members of the Society of Jesus present in Hungary.
Translation of the Italian original into Spanish by ZENIT’s Editorial Director and, into English, by Virginia M. Forrester