Pope Francis was the second Pope to visit Hungary and Slovakia, countries St John Paul II had visited more than once.
Vatican City (15/09/2021 16:00, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis is already in Rome. After attending the closing ceremony of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary, and visiting Slovakia, the Pontiff has returned to the eternal city. This was his 34th International Apostolic Trip.
The flight that took the Holy Father from Bratislava to Ciampino airport arrived at 3:21 p.m. local time. Before that, the Pontiff celebrated Mass at the Sanctuary of Sastín, in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron saint of Slovakia.
Mary is the Mother who gives us her Son Jesus
In this shrine, he first prayed with the Bishops and then celebrated the Eucharist: “Mary is the Mother who gives us her Son Jesus. That is why we love and venerate her. And the Slovak people come with Faith and devotion to this national Shrine of Sastín, because they know that it is She who gives us Jesus,” the Pope said at the beginning of his homily.
After arriving in Rome, as is customary on his return from each trip, the Pontiff went to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where he prayed before the image of the Salus Populi Romani (Protector of the Roman People), and then to Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
Pope Francis was the second Pope to visit Hungary and Slovakia
Francis has been away from Rome since last Sunday, 12 September, when he went to Budapest to celebrate the closing ceremony of the Eucharistic Congress. He then toured Slovakia, where he visited Bratislava, Kosice and Presov.
He was the second Pope to visit these countries. St John Paul II was in Hungary in 1991 and 1996 and in Slovakia in 1990, 1995 and 2003. (EPC)