By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis told those present in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus that he is preparing to go to Budapest next Sunday for the wrap-up of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress where he will celebrate the final Mass.
“After Mass,” he continued, “my pilgrimage will continue for a few days in Slovakia and will conclude the following Wednesday with the great popular celebration of Our Lady of Sorrows, Patron saint of that country.”
Adoration and prayer in the heart of Europe
The Pope said, “these will be days marked by adoration and prayer in the heart of Europe.”
He extended his greetings and thanks to those who have prepared the journey scheduled to take place from 12 to 15 September, as well as to those who await him and whom he says he “wholeheartedly” wishes to meet.
Some of the highlights of the apostolic visit that begins with the conclusion of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest include a divine liturgy in memory of Greek Catholic martyrs and a meeting with Roma community leaders.
34th Apostolic Visit abroad
The theme of the Pope’s 34th apostolic visit abroad is “With Mary and Joseph on the way to Jesus.”
During his stay in Slovakia where he will be based in the capital Bratislava, he will travel to Košice, Slovakia’s second-largest city, on the eastern border, near Poland, Ukraine, and Hungary, and he will go to Prešov, the country’s third-largest city. On his last day in the country, Pope Francis will be in Šaštin, Trnava region, where a moment of prayer will be held with the bishops at the National Shrine, dedicated 250 years ago to Our Lady, known as "Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows".
“I ask everyone to accompany me in prayer, and I entrust my visits to the intercession of so many heroic confessors of the faith, who in those places bore witness to the Gospel amid hostility and persecution. May they help Europe to bear witness today too, not so much in words but above all in deeds, with works of mercy and hospitality, to the good news of the Lord who loves us and saves us,” the Pope said.