By Ononye VC
The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress ended successfully on September 12,2021 with Pope Francis offering the closing Mass before flying on Sunday afternoon to Slovakia, where he visited four cities, returning to Rome on Sept.15.
The Pope met with the Hungarian Prime Minister,Victor Orban and the Hungarian President Janos Ader, who offered a personal testimony to his Catholic Faith at the Eucharistic Congress which took place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
It is reported that among the various topics discussed were the role of the church in the country, the commitment to the protection of the environment, the protection and promotion of the family.
Reports monitored from Hungary said the Pope delivered a speech to the Bishops of Hungary.He took part in an ecumenical meeting with leaders of Hungary’s Protestant Christians,as well as representatives of the country’s Jewish communities.
Pope Francis admonished the leadership of Hungary saying, “The God of the covenant asks us not to yield to separatism or partisan interests.He does not want us to ally ourselves with some at the expense of others”.
Reflecting on the successful conclusion of the Congress, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha who participated with other Catholic Church leaders, expressed gratitude to God for success of the Congress.
The Archbishop said,”I thank God for the successful conclusion of this year’s Eucharistic Congress, Budapest, Hungary with Pope Francis’ Holy Mass of thanksgiving to God. I pray that the Holy Father’s call to renewal, by proclaiming Jesus, discerning with Jesus, and following Jesus may yield abundant fruits in our lives. I also pray for God’s choicest blessings on all the participants and the good people of Hungary”.
Archbishop Val visited many places of interest in Hungary where he was received with open arms.
The places include,the ancient Basilica at the City of Bata,Hungary.
The Basilica is known with many historic events,including being a a monastery, 500 years ago,and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle 700 years ago.
The Archbishop was also received by the Diocese of Pécs, Hungary, with the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross with them at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral Basilica, Pécs.
The Onitsha Archdiocesan Vice Chancellor Rev Fr Basil Ekwunife, the manager,St Charles Borromeo Specialist Hospital Onitsha,Rev Fr Izuu Okonkwo and Dr Reka Fodor,a renowned humanitarian worker were spotted at some of the occasions.