Pope Francis began his three-day pastoral and ecumenical apostolic visit to Romania on Friday. The Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church arrived in Romania a few minutes after 11 and was welcomed by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen, as well as the episcopacy.
Pope Francis will meet with the secular leaders of Romania prior to paying an ecumenical visit to the Romanian Patriarchate to have a look at the new Redemption of the Nation orthodox cathedral along with the Patriarch Daniel of Romania. The cathedral is currently under construction.
His pastoral tour — called “Let’s walk together” — begins with a Holy Mass in the St. Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest in the afternoon. During his visit to the diocese, Pope Francis will pay a visit to the Roman Catholic communities. Pope John Paul II’s visit 20 years ago marked the first time in history that the head of the Roman Catholic Church visited an orthodox country. This occasion is also historic as it’s the first time a pope will visit Transylvania.
Pope Francis Strengthens the World’s Hungarians by Visiting Csíksomlyó- Interview with Father László Németh
The majority of the Catholics in Romania are Hungarian, and the Pope will visit them on Saturday at the community’s most important pilgrimage spot: the Csíksomlyó mountain. An outdoor Holy Mass presented in both Latin and Hungarian will be held in the area. On Saturday afternoon, the Pope will greet young people and families in Jászvásár, Moldva. Then, on Sunday, he will beatify seven Romanian Greek Catholic martyrs in Balázsfalva in Transylvania.
We have collected pictures of the work done in preparation for the Pope’s visit:
The inscription of a Székely gate underway in the Csíksomlyó mountains, the venue of the Holy Mass. The Székely Gate was carved by teachers and students from the Géza Vámszer Folk Art School in Zeteváral, in Harghita County, using typical csík motifs. The gate was constructed in 800 hours from oak with pine wood shingle. The gate is 838 centimeters long and its highest point is 533 centimeters.
Balázs Sajgó, the coordinator of the papal visit at the archdiocese, Miklós Soltész, the Minister of State for Churches, Minorities and Civil Affairs, László Tóth, the Consul General of Csíkszereda, and Erik Urbán, the Governor of the Transylvanian Franciscans, (left to right) in the Csíksomlyó Mountains. The Hármashalom altar and its surroundings were expanded and renewed with the support of the Hungarian government before the papal visit. Over 100,000 people have registered for the Mass, and a pilgrimage train is available from Hungary to the event.
The liturgical objects used in the Holy Mass in Csíksomlyó this Saturday showcased in St. George Parish in Székelyudvarhely-Szombatfalva.
The flower carriage accompanying the relic of St. László in Debrecen. The carriage, depicting the figure of the ‘Knight King’, St. László, arrived from Somogyvár to Debrecen. It then continued to Nagyvárad (Oradea) before eventually arriving in Csíksomlyó prior to the Pope’s visit. It will be on display until Pentecost Monday.