Pope Francis blesses Hungarian wine

As part of the Christmas festive season, on 27 December, St John’s Day, Pope Francis gave his apostolic blessing to Tokaj and Hungarian wine in general, reviving the tradition of wine consecration.

Pál Rókusfalvy, Government Commissioner for National Wine Marketing, wrote to Pope Francis through the Embassy of Hungary to the Holy See, requesting the consecration of Hungarian wine. Through the Hungarian Wine Marketing Agency, the government commissioner sent a total of 180 bottles of Tokaji Aszú from 30 Tokaj winemakers to the Vatican in advance, and he also took a bottle of Tokaji Esszencia in a special gift box to the audience on 27 December. Aszú was chosen because it is believed to be the result of an exceptional and rare harmony between God, man and nature, something that is extremely unique. During the personal meeting, the government commissioner said, “we have come on the Feast of St John to ask for the apostolic blessing of this Tokaji Aszú, and through it, of Hungarian wine and the work of the God-fearing Hungarian winemakers.” Tokaj is also mentioned in the third verse of the Hungarian national anthem, so the government commissioner presented elegant prints of its national prayer in three languages: besides Hungarian, in the Holy Father’s mother tongue, Spanish, and in English translation.

Photos: ©Vatican Media