Pope Francis returned to Hungary following his earlier trip for the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest on September 12, 2021. He is the second pontiff to visit the country after St. John Paul II, who visited in 1991 and 1996.
The central image on the logo for this trip was the Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary’s oldest bridge crossing the Danube. A symbol of the capital and the country, it was originally built to unite the cities of Buda and Pest. It clearly evokes the thought, repeatedly uttered by Pope Francis, of the importance of building bridges.
The pontiff left Fiumicino Airport at about 8:10 a.m., April 28, 2023, for Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where he landed at 10 a.m. He was greeted by the deputy prime minister at the foot of the plane’s front staircase, and two children in traditional dress offered him bread and salt. He then moved to the Sándor Palace in the Buda Castle district, which is the official residence of the president of the republic. Here the pope was ceremoniously welcomed by President Katalin Novák. Then the two leaders proceeded to the second floor for their private meeting, which was followed by one with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.