The cities and communities Pope Francis will visit in Slovakia

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Slovakia continues to prepare for Pope Francis' three-day visit in September. After celebrating the closing Mass for the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 12, the Pope will travel to three cities in Slovakia: Bratislava and Košice, the principal seats of the Catholic Latin Church in Slovakia, and Prešov, the center of the Byzantine, or Greek-Catholic, Church.

The Pope's first two days in Bratislava will be spent meeting with diplomats in the Golden Hall of the Presidential Palace, and with religious communities in the Cathedral of St. Martin. 

He will participate in an ecumenical encounter with representatives of the Lutheran Churches in Slovakia and hold a private meeting with the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's Congregation) at the Bethlehem Center.

Spokesperson for the Slovak Bishops' Conference
“They take care of homeless people. They take care of families, mothers with children. They give help to many people that are in need here in Bratislava, in the capital city, so it is a very nice place of charity, and the Holy Father will be going there.”

In Bratislava he will also meet with the Jewish Community in Rybné Námestie Square, which is now a memorial site dedicated to the Jewish people killed during World War II.

Spokesperson for the Slovak Bishops' Conference
“It is a place where the synagogue used to stand, which was, however, destroyed. It was torn down during the communist regime. So we have this memorial that remembers, not only the synagogue, but also the tragedy that happens during the second world war.”

Pope Francis will then travel to Prešov, where he will celebrate the Byzantine divine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Then he will return to Košice, where he will meet with young people at the Lokomotiva Stadium. 

He will also meet with the Roma community in the Luník IX district. The Roma people have long been victims of discrimination and marginalization.

Spokesperson for the Slovak Bishops' Conference
“There is a very nice project of the Salesians that have been there. Their presence is there for many years, and have been working in the spiritual sphere and also in the charitable sphere. So the Holy Father expressed his will to visit this site. He will be going there. He will be meeting them on a special occasion. Right after that, he will be traveling to the center of Košice to meet the youth.”

The Pope will conclude his three-day visit with a Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Šaštin on Sept. 15. Every year on that date, pilgrims travel to the Shrine for the Feast of the patroness of Slovakia, one of the country's most important religious events.



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