The Csíksomlyó/Sumuleu Ciuc pilgrimage site is Transylvania’s heritage, Pope Francis said during the Holy Mass on the second day of his Romanian visit.
“Pilgrimage sites are locations for feast and celebration, for tears and supplication”, the pope said, adding that the Csíksomlyó site respects both Romanian and Hungarian religious customs. He also said that pilgrims of faiths other than Roman Catholic also attended the Mass was a sign of dialogue, unity and friendship.
The pope arrived early morning in Marosvásárhely/Targu Mures but the fog prevented the planned helicopter ride to Csíksomlyó, thus he arrived by car almost an hour later than scheduled.
Despite the cold and rainy weather, official estimates said more than 90,000 pilgrims were in attendance, including Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici and Hungarian President János Áder and First Lady Anita Herczeg. The pope arrived on a popemobile custom-made for the visit by the country’s Dacia factory.
Pilgrims attending Pope Francis’ Holy Mass in Csíksomlyó, Transylvania (capture from Romanian television)
Pope Francis said that all people are God’s own and that past events should not prevent brotherly co-existence.
“We should not allow the voices and wounds that fuel separation and division rob us of fraternal feelings. We should neither forget, nor deny the sad and complex past events, but should not constitute neither obstacles, nor excuses for preventing the desired brotherly co-existence”, Pope Francis said.
The visit is a historical event, as this is the first time a pope comes to Transylvania, a region of Romania which has a sizeable Hungarian minority, most of whom are either Roman Catholic or Protestant. According to the official schedule, Pope Francis is supposed to continue his Romanian visit taking a helicopter to the northeast Romanian city of Iaşi in the afternoon.
Title image: Pope Francis pontificating the Holy Mass in Csíksomlyó, Transylvania on June 1, 2019 (capture from Romanian television)