Budapest (Hungary). From 28 to 30 April 2023, Pope Francis was in Budapest, Hungary for his 41st International Visit.
Some Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Communities of Hungary, Province of St. Mary D. Mazzarello (ITV) who participated in various moments, recount the experience as follows:
From 28 to 30 April 2023, are historic days for Hungary, in which Pope Francis visited us, proclaiming Christ, our future. This is how the motto resounds, but above all the reality of today and always for those who want to live life fully.
As religious, with the bishops, priests, and many other consecrated persons, on April 28 we participated in the meeting with the Pope, listening to his words from inside or outside the Basilica of St. Stephen. Everything had been prepared with the utmost care and attention to safety. Above all, there was so much joy in being around the Pope like a big family. We awaited him with songs by the Byzantine-style “St. Ephraim” group, the prayer of the Rosary with the glorious mysteries, interspersed with wonderful songs. In particular, the word of the Holy Father urged us not to be ‘catastrophic’ in considering current history, however hard and difficult. We must not let ourselves be overcome by the worldly mentality, which takes away all the vitality of the Gospel. He invited us to constant prayer, to adoration, to the witness of charity, for an effective vocation ministry. Furthermore, to free ourselves from useless chatter and to be enkindled with hope in service to others, with the help of Mary, the Lord’s servant par excellence.
Together with the 11,000 young people in the “Papp László Budapest Sportaréna” sports center, we were present with 34 boys and girls from the Salesian oratory of Tordas. The visible testimony of young people with great inner maturity emerged, and the sincere desire to experience with Jesus, beloved and precious for Jesus and ‘for me’, underlined Pope Francis. Thus, the invitation to silence, “ground on which to cultivate beneficial relationships” and, for adults and educators, the warning to help young people find true answers to their thirst for authenticity. “Who dares wins”, he pronounces in Hungarian. Struggle is part of life. The way of Jesus does not exist without the cross.
Many are moved by his closeness, clarity of words, and always smiling presence. A Sister of ours, interviewed in the crowd, says that the Pope continually radiates the goodness of the face of God the merciful Father, drawing us to do the same.
During the Holy Mass, celebrated in Kossuth Lajos Square in front of the Parliament, one perceived a silence full of profound listening. Participation was unanimous in everything: songs, prayers, recollection, and it is no coincidence that the Holy Father’s words resounded to be strong in the faith, which characterizes the Hungarian people, to become a point of reference for peace in Europe and in the world:
“Be open doors! Let the Lord of life, His Word that consoles and heals, enter our hearts, and then go out and be ourselves open doors in society. Be open and inclusive towards each other, to help Hungary to grow in fraternity, the way of peace.”
Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary was an experience that strengthened the unity of the people, the Christian identity, and service in today’s society, with the thousand challenges of fraternity, in the daily trials of much diversity. The Pope concluded the encounter with the words-prayer of the hymn of this people: ISTEN ÁLD MEG A MAGYART! God bless the Hungarian people!