Hundreds of believers, politicians and the representatives of the Church welcomed him at the airport.
Pope Francis arrived in Slovakia on Sunday, September 12, shortly after 15:30.
Francis came to Bratislava from Budapest, where he also met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President János Áder.
He was welcomed by President Zuzana Čaputová, PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO), Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina), Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee), Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo, the representatives of the Church, invited guests such as Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová, František Mikloško as a representative of the Catholic dissident movement during communism, and Holocaust survivor Herta Vyšná, the SITA newswire reported.
There were also hundreds of believers welcoming him at the Bratislava airport.
Čaputová said that the first words the pope told her after his arrival were: “You invited me to Slovakia in December, and now I fulfill this promise.”
Later in the afternoon, an ecumenical meeting was held at the apostolic nunciature in Bratislava. In his speech, held during the meeting, Pope Francis thanked the representatives of the Church for coming to meet him. He called himself “a pilgrim in Slovakia.”
Moreover, the pontiff expressed hope that Slovakia will continue in its ecumenical journey. After the meeting, he will also meet with members of the Society of Jesus.
This is Pope Francis’ first visit in Slovakia. He was invited by President Čaputová during her visit in the Vatican last December.
The pope will spend altogether four days in Slovakia, leaving on September 15 in the afternoon. Apart from Bratislava, he will also visit Prešov, and Košice.
Then he will come back to the west for a visit to Šaštín, where he will celebrate the mass with an estimated attendance of 20.000 people.