Hundreds of thousands of people at the largest Pentecost pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe

Hundreds of thousands of people at the largest Pentecost pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe

Hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the Pentecost pilgrimage at Şumuleu Ciuc on Saturday, including Hungarian State Secretary János Potápi.

„On the road leading to Şumuleu Ciuc, pilgrims walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, and their inner compass shows the principle by which they want to remain faithful to the memory, faith, and values of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents,” says János Potápi, the state secretary responsible for national policies in Viktor Orban’s chancellery.


The Hungarian politician took part in the 7th Equestrian Pilgrimage "Márton Áron," organized in front of the Saint Stephen Chapel in Sânzieni. Mounted pilgrims brought prayer ribbons from the localities in the region.

Photo: Potápi Árpád János

László Felföldi, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs, is the speaker of this year's pilgrimage at Şumuleu Ciuc.

The Franciscan monks, the guardians of the holy place at Şumuleu Ciuc, choose a motto for each year, which also becomes the motto of the Pentecost pilgrimage. This year, the motto is "Renew yourselves!" and is connected to the pastoral year proclaimed by the Archdiocese of Alba Iulia under the motto "Renewed community through prayer."


On Saturday morning, the Holy Liturgy took place in the church at Şumuleu Ciuc, at 10:00 the rosary was recited at the outdoor altar. At 10:30, the procession of the faithful departed from the front of the church towards the saddle between Dealul Şumuleu Mare and Dealul Şumuleu Mic.

Publicată de Amagdei Mihaela pe Sâmbătă, 18 mai 2024

After the outdoor pilgrimage service, the Pentecost program continues on Saturday at 17:00 with a holy liturgy for the Ceangăi in the Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul.


In the afternoon, a Pentecost vigil liturgy will take place in the church, followed overnight by a vigil.

On Pentecost Sunday, on May 19, four liturgies will be celebrated at the church in Şumuleu Ciuc at 7:00, 8:00, 10:30, and 18:00, and on Monday three liturgies at 8:00, 10:30, and 18:00, according to the announced schedule.

The History of the Largest Pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe

The Catholic Pentecost pilgrimage at Şumuleu Ciuc is considered the largest in Central and Eastern Europe and dates back almost four and a half centuries.

At the center of the pilgrimage is the Virgin Mary, whose statue was carved in lime wood between 1510 and 1515, being the largest miraculous statue in the world.

In 1567, after emerging victorious in the battle against the armies of the Prince of Transylvania, John Sigismund, who tried to impose the Unitarian religion, the Catholic faithful made a covenant to return on the Saturday before Pentecost to express their gratitude. And year after year, more and more came, joining the Harghita people were other believers (Reformed, Unitarians, even Orthodox) from everywhere, until the church became too small, so the liturgy moved to Muntele Şumuleul Mic.

On June 1, 2019, Pope Francis was at Şumuleu Ciuc, where he conveyed to the faithful that the annual pilgrimage belongs to the Transylvanian heritage but honors both Romanian and Hungarian traditions, and that the sad events of the past cannot be an obstacle to fraternal coexistence.

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