Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

Novak attends mass dedicated to Saint Stephen in Transcarpathia

President Katalin Novak attended mass dedicated to Saint Stephen at the Roman Catholic church of Berehove in Transcarpathia on Tuesday.

“I have brought to you the power of fifteen million Hungarians,” she told the ecumenical event, where bread she had personally baked for the August 20 national holiday was blessed.

She said that despite all the current difficulties, it was good to celebrate with ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia. She added that during her last visit, the first candle of Advent was lit, and “I expressed thanks at the time and now want to thank again all those that persevere and stay here, building their communities and those that lead these communities.”

Novak said that during her upcoming talks in Kiev, she would tell her negotiating partners that “they can rely on Hungarians … Hungary helps”. “We expect that ethnic Hungarians can live here in Transcarpathia in a way that’s worthy of them and Europe,” she added.

Commenting on the war under way in Ukraine for 544 days, she said strength must be gathered, adding that her visit also aimed to help this. “Let’s gain strength from those Ukrainian friends that we can rely on,” she added, expressing hope that “we will have a common future, even if we cannot see the path leading to it now.”

She said strength could also be gathered from “our common thousand-year history”, the members of the community and work of aid organisations. “But first of all, let’s gather strength from our common Christian faith,” she added, and she prayed for piece together with the people who filled the church.

She also visited and laid a wreath at the bust of Saint Stephen and held talks with ethnic Hungarian politicians, as well as church and educational leaders in Transcarpathia.

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