By Devin Watkins
The first stop on Pope Francis’ one-day visit to Budapest took him to the Museum of Fine Arts for a meeting with Hungarian President János Áder, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office said the Pope was welcomed to Hungary by the heads of state and government for a “cordial” meeting in the Romanic Hall of the Museum.
The men posed for an official photo before holding a private meeting.
The Pope and Hungary’s civil leaders discussed the “role of the Church in the country, the commitment to the protection of the environment, and the protection and promotion of the family.”
The Pope was accompanied to the meeting by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
Afterwards, Pope Francis met separately with the Bishops of Hungary in the Renaissance Hall of the Museum.
As part of his official welcome to Hungary, the Pope gifted President Áder with a mosaic depicting the “Papal Blessing in St. Peter’s Square”.
The mosaic reproduces a painting by Ippolito Caffi executed in the mid-1800s and now preserved in the Museum of Rome.
It shows St. Peter’s Square bathed in morning light, with a crowd of people awaiting the Pope’s blessing from the central window of the Basilica, which is covered with a large white awning.