Hungarians see Pope Francis as beacon of peace
Hungarians and millions of people around the world view Pope Francis as a man of peace, said Hungarian President Katalin Novak in her speech welcoming the head of the Catholic Church to the Carmelite Monastery in Budapest on Friday.
The Hungarian president expressed her hope that the Pope will be able to talk to Kyiv and Moscow, Washington, Brussels, Budapest and all those without whom there can be no peace.
„Here in Budapest, we ask for your personal intercession to bring about a just peace as soon as possible,”
the president said, addressing the Pontifex.
“We believe” that the arrival of the Holy Father in Hungary is not a coincidence, but precisely the right moment and place for the meeting, for the ringing of bells and for the proclamation of a just peace. At the right time, God will bring together and empower those who trust in the power of love, unity and peace ” Ms Novak said, adding that
Hungarians want to rise to the heights where they will find the self-evident togetherness of all believers in Christ and without distinction of all people of good will and peace-seeking, where „the renewal of our lives awaits us.”
President Novak recalled the words of the late Prince Primate Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who said that „the rising of a nation always begins today, there are embers under the ashes even in the stagnant ones, they are just waiting for the spark.”
“We would like” the Holy Father’s visit to Hungary to be a springboard to this ascent, a high point from where we can „see” the path to spiritual renewal and peace, the president said.
„We are the ones who have to stay on the right path”, as Hungarians and Europeans. We can expect encouragement, guidance and confirmation „but only we, the people and leaders of Europe, can use the free will that has been given to us” to lead to a more peaceful, democratic and stronger Europe, Ms Novak emphasized.
Katalin Novak recalled that Saint John Paul II came to Hungary when we most needed him, when we were starting anew after the fall of communism. The same is true for today’s visit, Pope Francis came at a time when Hungary and Europe need him the most, she added.
„Your Holiness now confirms to us that a life grounded in Christian values has a foundation, a meaning and a future even in the 21st century. And we also strengthen Your Holiness in this. This is what we mutually give to each other: the protection of human life and the family, the sustaining power of the Christian faith,” stressed President Novak, adding, „We are allies, together we protect human life, women and men, our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters, as well as the freedom of people who think or live differently.”
The head of state pointed out that the bloody war raging in one of our neighbouring countries gives a heavy and tragic timeliness to this alliance. She said that we are helping the one and a half million people fleeing to us from Ukraine with exemplary cooperation, and we see the pain of the families who have been torn apart.
„But we, mothers, foremost want to win peace, not war. We don’t want to send our sons and husbands to the frontlines,”
Katalin Novak, as the first female president of the Republic of Hungary, thanked Pope Francis for encouraging and strengthening women in starting a family, raising children and in their leading roles in communities.
She said that potted St Elizabeth rose stems were among the gifts for the Holy Father. As she put it, the life of St Elizabeth [of the Arpad House] proves that women have a special responsibility to point out that good governance is not possible without mercy and solidarity towards the vulnerable.