...By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
During his weekly audience with the public on May 3, 2023, Pope Francis spoke about the Christian roots of Hungary and the problem of consumerism in Europe.
He warned that freedom is under threat in Europe, as people prioritize consumerism and individualism over building families and community.
The pope emphasized that modernity is advancing consumerism, and that Europe is in crisis, where dedicating oneself to others, community feeling, dreaming together, and creating large families are all in crisis.
He spoke about his recent visit to Budapest, Hungary, and asked the audience to think about preserving roots as the branches can only grow upwards and bear fruit if they go deep.
Pope Francis reflected on the Christian roots of Hungary and the ways in which they were tested in the 20th century.
He noted that Hungary’s faith had been tested by fire due to the atheist persecution in the 1900s, where Christians were violently attacked, and many people were killed or deprived of their freedom.
Despite attempts to cut down the tree of faith, the roots remained intact, and the steadfastness of the “hidden Church” in Hungary was remarkable.
The pope noted that Hungary’s latest persecution, the Communist oppression, was preceded by the tragic deportation of a large Jewish population during the Nazi oppression.
Pope Francis quoted St. Pope John Paul II, who spoke about Hungary’s many saints and heroes, surrounded by hosts of humble and hard-working people.
He highlighted the devotion of Hungary’s St. Stephen to the Virgin Mary, as the country was consecrated to her by the first king.
He urged the audience to entrust the dear country to the Queen of Hungary, the building of bridges in the world to the Queen of Peace, and our hearts to the Queen of Heaven, whom we acclaim at this Easter time, so they may be rooted in the love of God.
Pope Francis’s message highlights the importance of preserving roots, community, and family in a world where consumerism and individualism are on the rise.
He emphasized the dangers of modernity, which promotes a culture of “me” over “we.”
This message is particularly important in a time when people are becoming more self-centered, and societal bonds are weakening.
By reflecting on the Christian roots of Hungary and its people’s devotion to the Virgin Mary, the pope showed how faith and people’s common bonds can help overcome even the most challenging of times.