Pope Francis has returned to Rome from his 34th International Apostolic Journey, which took him to close the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest and to visit Slovakia. “After his landing at Ciampino airport, Pope Francis paused to pray in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, before the icon of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani. Then he returned to the Vatican,” reported the Holy See Press Office today, September 15, 2021.
The plane that transported the Pontiff on his return from Bratislava took off from the Slovak capital’s airport at 3:48 pm and landed in Rome’s Ciampino Airport at 3:17 pm.
Telegrams During the Flight
As usual, the Pope sent a telegram to the Heads of State of the countries he flew over during his return from the Apostolic Journey. In the first place, he addressed Zoran Milanović, President of the Republic of Croatia: “On entering the air space of Croatia, at the end of my Apostolic Journey to Budapest and Slovakia, I renew my greetings to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens, and gladly invoke upon the Nation the abundant blessings of Almighty God.”
He did the same with Željko Komšić, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina: “While my flight takes me over Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the end of my Apostolic Journey to Budapest and Slovakia, I offer my best wishes to Your Excellency and to your fellow citizens, and invoke upon the Nation abundant divine blessings.”
Finally, he addressed Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic: “On my return from the Apostolic Journey to Budapest and Slovakia, where I had the joy to get to know the local population, rich in spiritual fervor, I express to you, Mr. President, my cordial greetings and assure my special prayer for the good and prosperity of the Italian Nation, upon which I invoke heavenly blessings.”
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester