Hungary’s President Ader Janos and his wife Anita Herczegh attended on Saturday in Sumuleu-Ciuc the Catholic pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which has a tradition of over 450 years.
As in previous years, the Hungarian presidential family came to Romania on a private visit and joined the participants in the event on Saturday morning at the Franciscan Church of Sumuleu-Ciuc and climbed the Sumuleu hill, up to the outdoor altar, where the Pentecost Mass is officiated. The two of them walked the route towards the procession site alongside the official cordon made up of priests and pilgrims carrying the Laborum, the holy flag of Sumuleu.
Also attending the procession was Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary Semjen Zsolt, as well as other officials who flew in from Budapest or leaders of the Hungarian community of Romania.
According to the rules established by the Franciscan Order, no politician was to deliver speeches, in order to avoid the event getting other connotations.
An impressive number of pilgrims started heading since Saturday morning towards the outdoor altar on the Sumuleu-Ciuc hill, carrying green branches and religious flags in their hands. Some of them have ascended the steep hill slope also called the “Way of the Cross,” which starts a few hundred meters from the Franciscan cathedral.
The pilgrims are coming from all over the world, some of them traveling even 1400 kilometers on foot, in order to pray to the Virgin Mary for health, tranquility in their family, and peace of mind.
The Holy Pentecost Mass started around 12:30hrs and was officiated by Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia Jakubinyi Gyorgy, Auxiliary Bishop of Vac (Hungary) Varga Lajos and Auxiliary Bishop of Miercurea Ciuc Tamas Jozsef.
The only guest of the Pentecost Mass who delivered a festive sermon was Father Marian Adam Waligora, the rector and local superior of Jasna Gora (Czestochowa, Poland).
The Pentecost pilgrimage in Sumuleu-Ciuc reached its 451st edition and centerpieces the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary, who helped the Szeklers in the area, back in 1567, to preserve their religion when Prince of Transylvania John Sigismund tried to impose the Unitarian religion.