We owe thanks to God that Pope Francis wanted to encourage and strengthen the Hungarian Church and the Hungarian people with his visit, Cardinal Peter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom and Budapest, said in Budapest on Monday.
Speaking at the mass celebrated to the organizers of the Pope’s visit, as well as to journalists and volunteers working on the visit, the cardinal stressed that thanksgiving expresses the essence of the Christian man’s existence.
at this mass, we give special thanks to God that Pope Francis has turned to us with pastoral love and that he really wanted to listen to us and considered this visit not just an opportunity to take care of other matters, however important they may be.
Our gratitude for Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary is only authentic if we put his teachings into action, Peter ErdŐ said.
“Just as Pope Francis made it a point to express his love for the sick, the disabled, the poor, the refugees and all those living on the margins of society, we, too, must notice and help those in need in our own environment.”
“Just as the Holy Father wanted to meet with representatives of the Hungarian Church, we must also meet on a regular basis with the local ecclesial community. Just as Pope Francis had a special meeting with young people and the representatives of science and culture,
we must be open to people of all ages and take seriously the dialogue that is unfolding in the spiritual world,”
– he added.
– Finally, just as Pope Francis expressed his admiration for Saint Stephen [Hungary’s first king – ed.] and reiterated Hungary’s offering to the Virgin Mary at the end of the mass before parliament, in Kossuth Square, we must also ask with confidence for the help of the Great Lady of the Hungarians, assume our duties and responsibilities for the benefit of our people, with our heads held high and our hearts open, as King Stephen did in his day,” the cardinal said.
Peter Erdő thanked the representatives of the Church who participated in organizing the visit, as well as the state authorities, volunteers, witnesses and the media.
Pope Francis’ thanks were conveyed by Apostolic Nuncio Michael Wallace Banach. The archbishop-diplomat said that the whole country should be proud of the success, organiation and conduct of the visit.
Michael Wallace Banach said that Hungary showed a friendly face to the Holy Father and to the whole world, reminding everyone that the Catholic faith is alive and flourishing in Hungary.
To all the people of the beloved Hungary, who have made the successor of Peter an honorary Hungarian for three days, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
At the reception following the Holy Mass, Andras Veres – Bishop of the Diocese of the city of Gyor and the President of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (HCBC) – wished the organizers of the pope’s visit that God should grant them the reward and blessing for the services they had rendered during the pontiff’s visit.
“We can rejoice in the satisfaction of the work we have done together, that we have done it for the Church, for the Holy Father, and no one can ever receive a more sublime opportunity for service than this,”
– Andras Veres said.
According to Tamas Toth, Secretary of the HCBC and national coordinator of the Pope’s visit, Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary was a unique opportunity to experience the presence of the universal Church in Hungary in a special way.
He expressed his hope that Pope Francis’ message and his words have strengthened everyone in their mission.
The mass was also attended by Miklos Soltesz, State Secretary for Church and Nationality Relations of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Pope Francis paid an apostolic visit to Hungary from April 28 to 30.
Cover photo: Peter Erdo and Pope Francis on Kossuth Square (Photo: MTI/Szilard Koszticsak)