Pope Francis at St. Mary Major's after his Hungary visit Pope Francis at St. Mary Major's after his Hungary visit 

Pope thanks Our Lady for protection on Apostolic Visit to Hungary

Pope Francis returns to Rome at the conclusion of his 41st Apostolic Visit abroad, which took him to the EU nation of Hungary, and prays at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in gratitude for his safe journey.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Following his long-standing custom, Pope Francis stopped to pray before the ancient icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, as he returned to the Vatican by car from Rome's Fiumicino Airport on Sunday evening.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the Pope prayed briefly in the chapel that houses the Marian icon in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

He then returned to his Vatican home at the Casa Santa Marta.

Gratitude for successful visit

During his three-day visit spent in Hungary's capital, Budapest, Pope Francis was publicly engaged in seven different events.

He delivered six speeches in which he confirmed the faith of the Hungarian people and urged them to be inclusive and open and to help build peace in Europe.

Shortly after take-off aboard the papal plane from Budapest, the Pope sent the customary farewell telegram to Hungary’s President Katlin Novák, expressing his gratitude to Hungarian authorities and citizens for their "warm welcome and generous hospitality".

Assuring them of his prayers, the Pope invoked on the EU nation "the blessings of Almighty God for unity, fraternity and peace".

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30 April 2023, 20:58