Pope Francis has commented on the news of unrest and violence reported on Eswatini, a country in southern Africa. He called on those in authority and its people to think of the future of their country. He said that they should work together for “dialogue, reconciliation and a peaceful settlement” to their differences.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has announced that he will be visiting Slovakia from September 12 to 15. The trip will begin with a visit to the nation’s capital, Budapest, where he will concelebrate the concluding Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.
He expressed his gratitude to all those organizing and preparing the journey, offering his prayers for them and inviting everyone to do the same. (Read: A Prayer for Calm When Going on a Journey)
According to Matteo Bruni of the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis “accepted the invitation from the civil Authorities and the Episcopal Conferences”.
“On Sunday, 12 September 2021”, the statement continues, “Pope Francis will be in Budapest for the celebration of Holy Mass on the conclusion of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress; subsequently, from 12 to 15 September 2021, he will travel to Slovakia, visiting the cities of Bratislava, Prešov, Košice e Šaštin. The program of the Journey will be published in due course”. (Read: Pope Francis Confirms Plans to Visit Hungary in September)
After the Pope’s announcement, Slovak pilgrims in St Peter’s Square responded by waving the flag of their country and applauding loudly.
Reports say that Slovakians were delighted and the President of the Slovak Bishops Conference expressed his joy at the news. (Read: Pope Receives Crucifix Made From Remains of Lebanon Blast)
Slovakia’s foreign minister, Ivan Korcok, described the trip as a “great honor for Slovakia,” while the nation’s president, Zuzana Caputova, said, “I believe that the presence of Pope Francis will be for all of us a message of reconciliation and hope in these difficult times,”
The Pope’s visit will also serve as an encouragement to citizens of Hungary and Slovakia after the COVID-19 pandemic.