Hungary has a population of 9.8 million, 62% of whom are Catholic. The country, which borders Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Ukraine, and Slovakia, last hosted the Eucharistic Congress in 1938.
There will also be a significant number of other events around the congress. A theological symposium will take place on Sept. 2-4 in Esztergom, a city in northern Hungary that is the seat of the Primate of Hungary.
On Sept. 4, a concert celebrating Judeo-Christian dialogue will be held at Budapest’s Dohány Street Synagogue. A host of evening concerts will take place throughout the congress.
Organizers highlighted the premiere of a Mass setting in the Romani language which will take place during a Mass at St. Stephen’s Basilica. The Mass setting was created by young composer Patrik Gergő Oláh. The traditionally nomadic Romani people are Hungary’s largest minority.
An exhibition on the theme of anti-Christian persecution will also open in cooperation with Hungary Helps, the country’s humanitarian assistance program for the persecuted Christians, and the Hungarian National Museum.
The weekday events at the Hungexpo will build towards the weekend of Sept. 11-12, the final two days of the congress.
On the Saturday, Cardinal Péter Erdő of Esztergom-Budapest will celebrate Mass in Kossuth Square, home to the spectacular Hungarian Parliament Building, followed by a candlelight procession to Heroes’ Square.
The cardinal told CNA in February that he was convinced that the congress would be “a great sign of hope for the Catholics all around the world” following the pandemic.
Pope Francis is scheduled to be the principal celebrant of the closing Mass in Heroes’ Square at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 12.
“In addition to the 120-member orchestra of the Hungarian Opera, the Choir of the Opera and a Grand Choir of 2,080 singers arriving from all corners of Hungary will be among the performers,” the organizers said.
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The September International Eucharistic Congress will be broadcast by EWTN.