Pope Francis will travel to Budapest, Hungary, in just over a month for an April 28–30 visit to the capital of the central European country.
The theme of the papal trip is “Christ is our future.” The logo is a stylized drawing of Budapest’s Chain Bridge, the oldest Hungarian bridge over the River Danube.
According to the Vatican, the bridge “was originally built to connect the cities of Buda and Pest” and “evokes the idea, often referred to by the Holy Father, of the importance of building bridges between people.”
A circle around the bridge symbolizes the Eucharist. In 2021, Budapest hosted the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, for which Pope Francis celebrated the final Mass.
According to 2019 statistics from the Vatican, approximately 61% of Hungary’s 9.7 million people identify as Catholic. The country’s second-highest religious demographic is those with no religious faith.
Pope Francis’ first day in Budapest will be mostly dedicated to meetings with Hungary’s President Katalin Novák, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and other governmental authorities and civil society members.
St. Stephen’s Co-Cathedral will be the location of the pope’s encounter with bishops, priests, seminarians, consecrated men and women, and pastoral workers.
The second day of the pope’s visit will include private meetings with Jesuits and with children from the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute for the Blind.
The institute, which has a kindergarten, elementary school, and home for children in need, is named for a Catholic doctor who dedicated his life to giving free medical treatment to the poor. Blessed László Batthyány, who was married with 13 children, died from cancer in 1931.
Pope Francis’ two public addresses on April 29 will take place during a meeting with poor and refugees at St. Elizabeth Hungary Church and another with young adults at the Budapest Sports Arena.
On the morning of Sunday, April 30, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Kossuth Lajos Square, located next to the Hungarian Parliament building.
Afterward, his final meeting in Budapest will be with people connected to the Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University.
The private Catholic university was founded in the 17th century and is one of Hungary’s oldest educational institutions.
The Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics “is unique in Hungarian higher education” for training IT engineers in the human sciences, especially genetics, the nervous system, and the immune system, according to the university’s website.
“This multidisciplinary approach is important, since a new industry is emerging on the boundary of information technology and biotechnology,” the website says.
The faculty offers bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and molecular bionics engineering as well as master’s degrees in computer engineering, info-bionics engineering, and medical biotechnology.
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