All you need to know about the Pope’s visit to Hungary – photos
Pope Francis arrives in Hungary on Friday for a three-day stay in Budapest. The visit will bring a number of changes to the Hungarian capital.
This is the fourth time since 1991 that the current Pope has visited Hungary. Pope John Paul II visited our country in August 1991 and September 1996. It will be Pope Francis ‘ second Budapest visit after September 2021.
Pope Francis will participate in ten private and public meetings and will give a total of six speeches.
The Catholic head of state’s plane will land at Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport on Friday at 10 AM.
Pope Francis will first head to Buda Castle, where he will be received by President of the Republic Katalin Novák on the main square in front of the Sándor Palace. Following his courtesy visit to the head of state, the head of the Church will meet with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and then with representatives of the state authorities, society and the diplomatic corps at the Carmelite Monastery.
On Friday afternoon, Pope Francis will meet with bishops, priests, deacons, monks, seminarians and pastoral staff at St Stephen’s Basilica.
On Saturday morning, Pope Francis will pay a private visit to the Blessed Batthyány-Strattmann László Home for Blind Children.
Pope Francis will bring encouragement, hope and a “message of peace” when he visits Hungary this weekend, President Katalin Novák said in an interview with German Catholic weekly Die Tagespost, which was published on Thursday.
It has been almost 30 years since the last pastoral visit by a pontiff to Hungary, Novák said, adding she believed that Hungary had “made a great impression” on Francis when he visited the country to celebrate the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in 2021.
The president said the pope’s visit was an honour not just for Catholics but all Hungarians. “We have been living in the immediate shadow of war for over a year,” Novák said, adding that all nations hoped for a peaceful, stable and secure world. “This is the message we need.”
She continued that the pope could play a key role in bringing about peace talks in Ukraine. “He can speak directly to both parties involved in the conflict as well as their respective partners,” Novák explained. “He is the one who can build bridges and break through the walls.”
Novák revealed that Pope Francis had indicated his willingness to visit both Moscow and Kyiv, adding that she considered it wise of the pontiff to want to consult with both sides. Furthermore, she expressed her hopes that the visits would happen “as soon as possible”.
The president also encouraged people not to underestimate the power of prayer. “We are in God’s hands,” she exclaimed. “We Hungarians will pray here together with the Holy Father for peace.”
Meanwhile, Novák underscored the importance of cooperation between Hungary and the Holy See in standing up for traditional Christian values, the family, the protection of life and the protection of persecuted Christians.
Important information, traffic changes
There will be a number of restrictions and traffic changes in Hungary due to the Pope’s visit. You can see them in the gallery below.
The Pope will hold a mass on 30 April in Kossuth Square. You can find out more about the procession in the picture below. The gates will open at 6 AM, the opening programme kicks off at 7 AM and the Holy Mass begins at 9.30 AM.
The green area is reserved for the general public, the yellow indicates the altar area, while the red is the organisers’ area. The “B” dots indicate the entry points, while the white area is the area closed to traffic.
Glassware, glass goblets, metal bottles, thermos flasks, alcoholic beverages, bicycles, scooters and remote-controlled devices are prohibited on Kossuth Square and other events during the Papal Visit. Water may be brought in PET bottles up to half a litre. No pyrotechnic devices or any other objects, particularly dangerous for public safety, are allowed. The entry of live animals is also prohibited, with the exception of assistance and guide dogs as defined by law.
However, small folding pilgrim chairs, flagpoles, banners and signs may be brought into the event, but the length of the banners may not exceed one and a half metres, except in the pilgrimage areas of the Holy Mass in Kossuth Square.
During the Pope’s visit, an outdoor religious tourism exhibition will open in Liberty Square.