Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians, including Hungary’s President János Áder and First Lady Anita Herczegh attended the annual Pentecost Pilgrimage in Csíksomlyó (Sumuleu Ciuc, Romania). “The sermon we heard was a message of loyalty. Loyalty to faith, loyalty to the homeland, the loyalty of being a part of a nation and the loyalty of keeping one’s native language,” the Hungarian President said after the annual open-air mass. This year Pope Francis blessed the Pentecost Pilgrimage on the occasion that the local statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was carved 500 years ago.
The Transylvanian village of Csíksomlyó became a pilgrimage site in 1567, when Hungarian king János Szapolyai wanted to convert the catholic Szekler (székely) population to Protestantism. The Szeklers refused to convert and fought back desperately. A battle took place on a nearby field, on Saturday before Pentecost, which was won by the Szeklers. Since then, the event has been commemorated by a pilgrimage when Catholics gather on Pentecost every year.
via hungarymatters.hu, MTI photos: Szilárd Koszticsák and Zoltán Máthé – MTI