At the end of the Holy Mass celebrated in Kossuth Square, Budapest on Sunday, 30 April, Pope Francis asked world leaders to build peace, praying for a future full of cradles not tombs. The ceremony held by the head of the Roman Catholic Church was also attended by, among others, President of Hungary Katalin Novák, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Speaker of Parliament László Kövér and Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky.
Pope Francis entrusted all Hungarians, the faith and future of the continent of Europe, and the cause of peace to the Virgin Mary, the Lady of the Hungarians. At the end of the Holy Mass, before the prayer of Regina Caeli, he prayed to the Virgin Mary with these words: “watch over the people who suffer greatly; in a special way, watch over the neighboring, beleaguered Ukrainian people and the Russian people, both consecrated to you.”
He prayed to the Queen of Peace to “instill 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.”
He also prayed to the Virgin that the Church in Europe might rediscover the power of prayer, Mary’s humility and obedience, the fervor of witness and the beauty of preaching.
Pope Francis thanked all Hungarians for the welcome and love that he experienced during his visit to Hungary. “I am grateful to you for these days, I carry you in my heart and I ask you to pray for me,” he said, concluding his speech in Hungarian: “God bless the Hungarian people!”
His speech was greeted by applause from the faithful.
Cardinal Péter Erdő, Arcbishop of Esztergom-Budapest led the liturgy of the Eucharist at the Holy Mass. At the end of the Mass, he thanked Pope Francis for “coming to us, to people whose language is so different that it is difficult to find a similar language around the world, who for a thousand years have lovingly stuck to Western Christianity, and felt that it had forgotten about them on several occasions.”
The Cardinal thanked the Pontiff for having come to visit the poor and the refugees who had arrived from neighboring Ukraine. “We thank you for visiting the poor, sick children and young people, who represent the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity to our church”, he said.
Péter Erdő also said that the people living along River Danube had learnt that the river was not only a border, but it also “connects people if bridges are built with wise expertise”. He cited the example of King Saint Stephen, Hungary’s first king, who is today revered as a saint by the Catholic and the Orthodox churches, because he was an advocate of Christ in a period when there was full unity between the churches of the East and the West.
“Thank you, Holy Father, for bringing us the message of dialogue and peace, which is particularly timely today”, said the Cardinal in concluding his speech. He went on asking for God’s blessing on Pope Francis and his service, and asking the Holy Father to impart his apostolic blessing on those present. The Cardinal gave Pope Francis a statue of Saint Stephen as a gift.