According to the speaker of the Csíksomlyó Pentecost pilgrimage in Transylvania, Archbishop György Udvardy of Veszprém, peace must not only be coveted, but also created, and for peace, risks must be taken. The traditional pilgrimage on the Saturday before Pentecost – which was allowed to take place without restrictions after two years of pandemic – attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the Csíksomlyó hilltop this year.
Archbishop György Udvardy based his sermon on the motto of the Franciscan monks, Pax et bonum (Peace and Goodness). He said that “peace is a gift from God, but peace must be created. Happy are those who live in peace, the peacemakers, can be properly understood as happy are those who make peace,” he said, interpreting the biblical teaching.
Archbishop György Udvardy of Veszprém, speaker at the Holy Mass of the Csíksomlyó Christian gathering on 4 June 2022. Photo: Nándor Veres/MTI
He added that peacemaking also involves risk. Referring to the war in Ukraine, he said that there are many and diverse forces acting against both peace and peacemaking. Recalling a sermon Pope Francis gave in Csíksomlyó in 2019, he stressed that “God will not abandon those who take risks. So for peace, you have to take risks, for peace you have to fight”.
He said that peace is always the fruit of justice, and happy are the peacemakers who are able to sacrifice for peace, but there is no peace for the wicked.
“First and foremost, I do good, I serve the good of others, even if I am misunderstood and intimidated. There is no way out of the lack of peace, of a broken relationship, by merely dwelling on grievances, by repeating or cherishing my desire to acknowledge perceived or real truths,” he concluded.
Participants of the Csíksomlyó Chirstian gathering, 4 June 2022. Photo: Nándor Veres/MTI
He believed that the task of the pilgrims to Csíksomlyó is to make peace, to initiate good, and that this requires a radical choice between good and evil, between life and death. He quoted the exhortation of Pope Francis: “Struggle, vigilance, discernment”.
He noted that in many cases, the ordinary life has weakened people’s readiness to fight. “It is easy to give up, to give up tradition, celebration, feast, encounter, family, marriage, child, elderly parent, truth, culture, nation, everyday life according to faith. In the words of the Pope, it is nothing but spiritual corruption, a kind of self-righteous blindness. There is always a reason, of course, but it weakens our inner life of faith, our desire for eternal life, it obscures the reality of the final judgment, and that is very dangerous,” he concluded.
Featured photo illustration by Nándor Veres/MTI