Pope adds Slovakia trip to Hungary visit in September - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Pope adds Slovakia trip to Hungary visit in September


Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he'll go to Slovakia in September, adding a three-day visit to that European nation after a pilgrimage to neighboring Hungary.

It was already known that Francis planned to be in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, to celebrate Mass on Sept. 12 at the end of a religious congress there.

But Francis told the public in St. Peter’s Square that he was happy to announce that, “God willing,” he’ll travel later that day to Slovakia, staying until Sept. 15.

Pilgrims from Slovakia in the square cheered and held up the flag of their nation at the announcement. Francis cheerfully acknowledged their joy, saying “those Slovaks are happy, there!”

“I thank from my heart all those who are preparing this trip, and I pray for them,” Francis said. “Let us all pray for this trip and for the persons who are working to organize it.”
Slovakia's foreign minister, Ivan Korcok, said the trip is a “great honor for Slovakia.”

The nation's president, Zuzana Caputova, invited the pope when she visited the Vatican in December.

"I believe that the presence of Pope Francis will be for all of us a message of reconciliation and hope in these difficult times,” Caputova said.

The last papal visit to the country was made in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Karel Janicek contributed to this report from Prague.
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