Memorable programs, memorable people

01 June 2019 - 08 June 2019

“We Returned Home with the Blessings of the Virgin Mary of Csíksomlyó”

In the depth of the gently rolling hills and silvery springs of Transylvania, above the main altar of the cloister church in Csíksomlyó stands the statue of the Virgin Mary, guarded for centuries by the Szeklers of Csík, a statue to which miraculous events are linked. The statue of the woman dressed in Sun has turned into the symbol of survival of the surrounding people, embodying their every hope, while at the same time experiencing first-hand the devastating storms of wartimes.
At the time of Whitsunday, hundreds of thousands of Hungarian believers from around the world set out to renew their faith by making a pilgrimage to the Csíksomlyó place of worship, seeking Mary’s intervention in submitting their pleas and thanks to the Creator and to pray for their families, their loved ones and the entire nation. The multitude of pilgrims approaching on foot the holy shrine at Somlyó from every which way constitute increasingly thick and long lines of people until, upon arrival at the saddle of the mountain, they create one huge uniform community. Their arrival signals the source of living faith and inexhaustible hope. On this early summer June day, János and I were also making our way to Csíksomlyó, where this year the large slope in front of the Hármashalom-Altar was filled with people on two occasions. Before Whitsunday, the successor of Saint Peter visited the place of pilgrimage in Transylvania for the first time. At the celebrations following the historic visit by Pope Francis, Pál József Csaba, bishop of Timisoara gave a sermon in front of the worshippers gathered.
Of the elating experiences of those days, I will forever cherish the moments, when hundreds of thousands of people sang in unison the anthem of the Hungarian nation, as well as the old and the new hymns of the Szeklers. The three verses sung there sounded like three invocations: seeking God’s and the Virgin Mary of Csíksomlyó’s blessing for the Hungarian people and for the pilgrims.