Vatican City — Pope Francis' September trip to Hungary and Slovakia features a jam-packed schedule that shows he has no intention of slowing down despite his recent recovery from colon surgery.
The Vatican July 21 released the pope's schedule for the trip Sept. 12-15, including the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest."
The pope announced the trip July 4 to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his Sunday Angelus address.
"From the bottom of my heart, I thank those who are preparing this journey, and I am praying for them," he said. "Let us all pray for this journey and for the people who are working to organize it."
Arriving in Hungary Sept. 12, the pope will meet with Hungarian President János Áder and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán before meeting with the country's bishops and representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches and several Jewish communities.
After celebrating the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress, the pope will immediately depart for Bratislava, Slovakia, where he will participate at an ecumenical gathering at the apostolic nunciature before meeting privately with a group of Jesuit priests.
Responding to questions on Twitter July 5 regarding the pope's brief stay in Hungary, Eduard Habsburg, the Hungarian ambassador to the Holy See, said the pope "is doing exactly what he has been invited for — in Budapest, the final Mass of the @iec2021Budapest (the eucharistic congress), in Slovakia, an extended visit to the country."
While in Slovakia, the pope also will visit the cities of Presov and Kosice July 14 where he will preside over a Divine Liturgy, as well as meet with members of the Roma community and young people.
On his final day, July 15, Francis will pray and celebrate Mass with the country's bishops at the Basilica of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Šaštin before returning to Rome.
Here is the detailed schedule released by the Vatican July 21. Times listed are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in parenthesis:
Sunday, Sept. 12 (Rome, Budapest, Bratislava)
- 6 a.m. (12 a.m.) Departure from Rome's Fiumicino airport
- 7:45 a.m. (1:45 a.m.) Arrival at Budapest international airport. Welcoming ceremony.
- 8:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m.) Meeting with President János Áder and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
- 9:15 a.m. (3:15 a.m.) Meeting with Hungary's bishops at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. Speech by pope.
- 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) Meeting with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches and several Jewish communities of Hungary at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. Speech by pope.
- 11:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.) Closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress at Heroes' Square in Budapest. Homily by pope.
- 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m.) Farewell ceremony at Budapest international airport.
- 2:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m.) Departure by plane for Bratislava.
- 3:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m.) Arrival at Bratislava international airport. Welcoming ceremony.
- 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) Ecumenical Meeting at the apostolic nunciature.
- 5:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.) Private meeting with Jesuit priests.
Monday, Sept. 13 (Bratislava)
- 9:15 a.m. (3:15 a.m.) Welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace.
- 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m.) Courtesy visit with Zuzana Caputová, president of Slovakia, in the Golden Hall of the presidential palace.
- 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) Meeting with government authorities, members of civil society and the diplomatic corps in the garden of the presidential palace. Speech by pope.
- 10:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.) Meeting with priests, men and women religious, seminarians and catechists at the Cathedral of St. Martin. Speech by pope.
- 4 p.m. (10 a.m.) Private visit to the "Bethlehem Center."
- 4:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m.) Meeting with the Jewish community in Rybné námestie Square. Speech by pope.
- 6 p.m. (12 p.m.) Meeting with the president of the parliament at the apostolic nunciature.
- 6:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.) Meeting with Prime Minister Eduard Heger at the apostolic nunciature.
Tuesday, Sept. 14 (Bratislava, Košice, Prešov, Košice, Bratislava)
- 8:10 a.m. (2:10 a.m.) Departure by plane for Košice.
- 9 a.m. (3 a.m.) Arrival at Košice airport.
- 10:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.) Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at Mestská športová hala Square in Prešov. Homily by pope.
- 4 p.m. (10 a.m.) Meeting with Roma community in the Luník IX neighborhood in Košice. Greeting by pope.
- 5 p.m. (11 a.m.) Meeting with young people at Lokomotiva Stadium in Košice. Speech by pope.
- 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m.) Departure by plane for Bratislava.
- 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.) Arrival at Bratislava international airport.
Wednesday, Sept. 15 (Bratislava, Šaštin, Bratislava, Rome)
- 9:10 a.m. (3:10 a.m.) Moment of prayer with bishops at the Basilica of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Šaštin.
- 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Šaštin. Homily by pope.
- 1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m.) Farewell ceremony at Bratislava international airport.
- 1:45 p.m. (7:45 a.m.) Departure by plane for Rome.
- 3:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m.) Arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport.