Slovakia: Pilgrimage of large families association MÁNCSE to Budapest for the Holy Mass by Pope Francis

Two participants who are sixth graders of elementary school summarized their impressions

There was an important event in the end of April in Budapest as Pope Francis visited Hungary. On the last day of His visit which was on Sunday, April 30, there was a public event in Budapest’s Kossuth Square where He presented Holy Mass in the presence of hundreds of thousands of people. As it was the highlight of the papal visit, Large Family Association of Mátyusföld considered it as a very important event, so about a hundred people of us participated there and two buses were organized for ourselves to travel there from Slovakia.

Here we would like to share the experience report of two of our participants who are sixth graders of elementary school. So here you can read how they summarized our pilgrimage:

The Holy Mass with Pope Francis took place in Budapest’s Kossuth Lajos Square on 30th April 2023. The Large Family Association of Mátyusföld organized a bus trip for that on which we participated by teacher Adrianna Pásztor.

We got up at 3.00 A.M. together with my mum who accompanied us on this day. My friend Bernadett, from the elementary school we attend, and also her grandma joined us, too. We met at 4.00 A.M. and then we went together to take a bus. It was waiting for us next to the church in Pered where we met also with the teacher.

The trip took 2.5 hours. After we went across the bridge from Buda to Pest the number of policemen was more and more and many of the streets were even closed. The buses were parked at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky road. From there we continued on foot. We arrived next to the Basilica at 8.00 A.M. Then we went through Liberty Square to get Kossuth Lajos Square. There were tons of people everywhere. It was good that my mom was with me, I felt safe. Kossuth Square and the nearby streets could only be reached through the security gates. The square was already full of people. We stopped at Martyrs’ square after the entry. The organizers put out huge projector screens in many places, so we could see and hear everything.

The Pope arrived at the square before 9:30 A.M. At a particular moment the distance in the air was just about 20 meters between us, but unfortunately we managed to see only the top of his car because of the mass of people. The Holy Mass lasted for an hour and a half. It was a very beautiful mass mainly in Hungarian and also songs performed by a choir. The Pope read his words in Italian, and one of the Hungarian priests translated the Pope’s words into Hungarian. However I belong to the evangelical denomination and our mass is a little different, I tried to follow the others on what to do when.

Although we were not as close to the Pope as we imagined, our experience on the square and also in the surrounding streets is indescribable. The cheering of the crowd, the clapping, the singing of prayers, this feeling cannot be experienced through TV. We are glad we had the opportunity to be there. We can say that we were close to such a person of whom there is only one in the world.

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