“We now turn to Our Lady. To her, Magna Domina Hungarorum, whom you invoke as Queen and Patroness, I entrust all Hungarians. And from this great city and this noble country, I would like to place in your heart the faith and the future of the entire European continent, which I have been thinking about in recent days, and in a particular way the cause of peace ”. These are the words of Pope Francis at the Regina Caeli which was held today, April 30, 2023, in Budapest, on the last day of his trip to Hungary.
“Holy Virgin, look to the peoples who suffer the most. Look above all at the neighboring martyred Ukrainian people and at the Russian people, consecrated to you. You are the Queen of peace, instill in the hearts of men and leaders of nations the desire to build peace, to give the young generations a future of hope, not of war; a future full of cradles, not graves; a world of brothers, not of walls,” the Pontiff added.
“I greet the Madam President, the Prime Minister and the Authorities present. Now close to returning to Rome, I wish to express my gratitude to them, to the brother Bishops, to the priests, to the consecrated men and women and to all the beloved Hungarian people for the welcome and for the affection I have felt in these days”.
Then Pope Francis wanted to express “gratitude to those who have come here from afar and to those who have worked so hard, and so well, for this visit. To all I say: thank you, God reward you! I greet the diplomats and the brothers and sisters of other Christian confessions. Thank you for your presence and thank you because in this country different confessions and religions meet and support each other. It is good that borders do not represent frontiers that separate, but areas of contact and that believers in Christ put the charity that unites first and not the historical, cultural and religious differences that divide. The Gospel unites us and it is by returning there, to the springs, that the journey among Christians will continue according to the will of Jesus, the Good Shepherd who wants us united in one flock”.
“And even the closed doors of our ecclesial communities, closed between us, closed towards the world, closed towards those who are ‘not in order’, closed towards those who yearn for God’s forgiveness. Please: let us open the doors!”.
Then another appeal: “Let us also try to be like Jesus: an open door, a door that is never slammed in anyone’s face, a door that allows everyone to enter and experience the beauty of the Lord’s love and forgiveness.” . I repeat this above all to myself, to my brother bishops and priests: to us pastors. Because the shepherd, says Jesus, is not a brigand or a thief; that is, he does not take advantage of his role, he does not oppress the flock entrusted to him, he does not ‘steal’ space from lay brothers, he does not exercise rigid authority. Let us encourage ourselves to be ever more open doors: ‘facilitators’ of God’s grace, experts in closeness. I also say this to lay brothers and sisters, to catechists, to pastoral workers, to those with political and social responsibilities, to those who simply carry on with their daily lives, sometimes with difficulty: be open doors”.