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Pope Francis’ schedule on his trip to Hungary 

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Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Isabella H. de Carvalho - Cyprien Viet - published on 03/01/23

What will Pope Francis visit and who will he meet on his upcoming trip to Budapest from April 28 to 30, 2023?

From April 28 to 30, 2023, Pope Francis will make his 41st trip outside of Italy, as he will visit Budapest once again. He went to the Hungarian capital on September 12, 2021, for the closing of the International Eucharistic Congress. However, this time he will embark on an official visit to Hungary, a country to which the Holy See has grown closer diplomatically in the context of the war in Ukraine.

The three-day visit to the Hungarian capital — about 990 kilometers from Rome — will include five speeches, a homily, and several private meetings, including with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, with visually impaired children, and with local Jesuits. 

Budapest is located in the same time zone as Rome. 

Pope Francis' stops in Budapest
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Friday, April 28

Pope Francis’ first morning in Hungary will be dedicated to the political dimension of the trip. The papal plane will take off at 8:10 a.m. from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, and will land at Budapest’s International Airport (1) at 10 a.m., where there will be an official reception. Then there will be a welcome ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Sándor Palace square (2), the seat of the Hungarian presidency. 

At 11:30 am (3) the Pontiff will meet with the President of the Republic, Katalin Novák, whom he received at the Vatican on August 25, 2022. A separate meeting is scheduled at 11:55 am with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The protocol is therefore different from that of his previous visit to Budapest, on September 12, 2021, when he met with the head of state and the head of government together.

To conclude this political morning, at 12:20 pm the Pope will deliver his first speech of the trip to the authorities, civil society and diplomatic corps of the country. This event will be held in a former Carmelite Monastery that today houses the seat of the government (4).

In the afternoon, at 5 p.m., there will be only one event: a meeting with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral agents in the co-cathedral of St. Stephen (5). In 2021, Pope Francis had already given a speech to the Hungarian bishops before the celebration of the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.

Saturday, April 29

Pope Francis’ second day in Budapest will begin at 8:45 a.m. with a private visit to the visually impaired children of an institute named after László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931), an ophthalmologist nicknamed “the doctor of the poor” who was beatified by John Paul II in 2003 (6)

The Argentine pontiff will then meet with disadvantaged people and refugees in the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (7) at 10:15 a.m., and will deliver a speech. Hungary, known for its conflicts with the European Union over the reception of migrants and refugees, has on the other hand opened its borders to Ukrainians, victims of the Russian offensive which began on February 24, 2022. Hungary is considered the second largest host or transit country, after Poland, although it is difficult to establish reliable data.

In the afternoon, at 4:30 p.m., the 86-year-old Pope will meet with young Hungarians at the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna (8), a sports hall that can hold up to 12,500 people. There he will deliver the second speech of the day. As is customary, the Pope will then meet with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature at 6 p.m. (9). The content of these private meetings is usually published a few weeks later in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica.

Sunday, April 30

On Sunday, April 30, the last day of his visit, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at 9:30 a.m. in Kossuth Lajos Square (10) — commonly known as “Nation Square” — in the center of Budapest. It is surrounded by the Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture and the French Embassy. At the end of the Mass, he will say the Regina Caeli prayer.

Finally, in the afternoon, at 4 pm, he will deliver his last speech to members of the cultural and academic world, at the Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics of the Catholic University “Péter Pázmány” (11). After the farewell ceremony scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Budapest’s International Airport, the papal plane is expected to leave at 6 p.m. and arrive at Rome Fiumicino International Airport at 7:55 p.m. As is customary, the Pope is expected to hold a press conference during the return flight of this 41st apostolic journey.

A map of Pope Francis' trip to Hungary with flight distance and time
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HungaryPope Francis
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