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(28 - 30 APRIL 2023)


  Sunday, 30 April 2023




I thank Cardinal Erdő for his kind words, and I greet Her Excellency the President, the Prime Minister and the Authorities present. As I prepare to return to Rome, I wish to express my gratitude to them, to my brother bishops, the priests and consecrated men and women, and to all the beloved Hungarian people for their warm welcome and the affection I have experienced in these days. I am also grateful to those who travelled a great distance to be here and to those who worked so hard, and so well, for this visit. To all of you I say, köszönöm, Isten fizesse! [Thank you, may God reward you!]. I think especially of the sick and the elderly, of those who were unable to be present with us, of those who are lonely and those who have lost faith in God and hope in life. I am close to all of you; I pray for you and I give you my blessing.

My greeting goes likewise to the members of the Diplomatic Corps and our brothers and sisters of other Christian confessions. I thank you for your presence and for the fact that in this country the different confessions and religions interact and are supportive of one another. Cardinal Erdő said that here you have been living “on the eastern border of Western Christianity for a thousand years.” It is a beautiful thing when borders do not represent boundaries that separate, but points of contact, and when believers in Christ emphasize first the charity that unites us, rather than the historical, cultural and religious differences that divide us. We are united by the Gospel, and it is by returning there, to the source, that our ecumenical journey will continue, in accordance with the will of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who desires us to be united in one flock.

We now turn to Our Lady. To her, Magna Domina Hungarorum, whom you invoke as Queen and Patroness, I entrust all Hungarians. From this great city and from this noble country, I desire to entrust to her heart the faith and the future of the entire continent of Europe, which has been on my mind in these days and, in particular, the cause of peace. Blessed Virgin, watch over the peoples who suffer so greatly. In a special way, watch over the neighbouring, beleaguered Ukrainian people and the Russian people, both consecrated to you.  You, who are the Queen of Peace, instil in the hearts of peoples and their leaders the desire to build peace and to give the younger generations a future of hope, not war, a future full of cradles not tombs, a world of brothers and sisters, not walls and barricades.

To you do we turn, Holy Mother of God! After the resurrection of Jesus, you accompanied the first steps of the Christian community, helping the disciples to persevere as one in prayer (cf. Acts 1:14). You held the faithful together, guarding their unity by your docile and generous example. We pray to you for the Church in Europe, that she may find strength in prayer, renewed humility and obedience, and be an example of convincing witness and joyful proclamation. To you we entrust this Church and this country. As you exulted in the resurrection of your Son, so fill our hearts with the joy of his presence. Dear brothers and sisters, this is my wish for you, that you may spread everywhere the joy of Christ. Isten éltessen! [Best wishes!].  With gratitude for these days, I keep you in my heart and I ask you to pray for me. Isten áld meg a magyart! [God bless the Hungarians!]


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