Zsolt Semjen, Hungary’s deputy prime minister, called the annual pilgrimage to Csiksomlyo (Sumuleu Ciuc) in Transylvania, Romania “a spiritual powerhouse” on Saturday.
“Great many Hungarians, irrespective of their religious affiliation, gather here year by year to reinforce themselves in their national identity and Christian mission,”
he told reporters after the Pentecostal holy mass had been celebrated.
The sermon focussed on the protection of life which is all the more important as the mass was attended by what seemed to be a record number of young people, he said. Semjen said that Europe had become vulnerable because it had lost its identity and allowed Islam to penetrate it without facing any resistance.
“This pilgrimage therefore carries the message that Europe can only survive if it retains Christianity and preserves its identity, if the European nations are proud of their national identity,”
“The hundreds of thousands of Hungarians gathering here also send a clear message to Romania on its centenary: they want to survive in their native land,” he said. Semjen said Romania’s ethnic Hungarians demand nothing more than what Transylvania’s Romanian community promised them in the Alba Iulia declaration of 1918.
Sumuleu Ciuc became a pilgrimage site in 1567, when Hungarian king John II Sigismund Zapolya wanted to convert the Szekler population to Protestantism. The Szeklers refused to convert and fought back. 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.
Source and photo: MTI