Papal Visit

Pope Francis in Csíksomlyó: encouragement and challenge

Pilgrims have to register online in order to participate at papal mass

On the 1st of March online registration for the papal visit in Csíksomlyó (Şumueleu Ciuc) will open on the website. The platform will be active until March the 31st – informed the media in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) on Wednesday prebendary Zoltán Oláh, leader of the ecclesiastical press committee.

The online registration is needed so the organizers can establish how many pilgrims they can expect. On the other hand, the location of the ceremonial mass which will be held by pope Francis on the 1st of June in the so called “saddle” between the Kis- and the Nagysomlyó-mountain, will be an area protected by the Romanian State Security Services, and only those people will be allowed to enter the perimeter, who have completed the online registration and have their voucher printed with the unique bar-code on it.

The bishop of the Nagyvárad (Oradea) diocese, László Böcskei said that the four historical Roman Catholic dioceses, respectively those of Nagyvárad, Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia), Szatmár (Satu Mare) and Temesvár (Timişoara) have been part of organizing this unprecedented event from the very beginning.

He also said that from the viewpoint of the church, this visit can be regarded as a “symbolical papal hug of the devotees, as an encouragement, as a gift, and as a challenge” as well. In the bishop’s opinion, the pope’s visit can be partly seen as an expression of gratitude for the faithfulness of all those people, who had spent long years in prison during Communism because of their principles.

“I do believe that this papal visit will be an encouragement for us in a constantly moving world, in which we are trying to find the ways to survive and to flourish as well” – the bishop said.

Pilgrims in the Csíksomlyó “saddle” at a Pentecost mass


Registration will be available for groups larger than 10 people, for families and individuals, separately for priests, for members of monastic congregations, and a separate category will be designated for handicapped and very ill people – Oláh said. The church encourages pilgrims to form organized groups, to travel to Csíksomlyó by bus or by train. Individual pilgrims are also welcome to the event. But those travelinh by car must know that on the 31st of May Csíkszereda (Miercurea-Ciuc) will stop incoming traffic, except for vehicles with passes.

Oláh saidpilgrims are allowed to bring religious or community flags, but no flags or banners with a political message are allowed. There will be security checks at the entrance points, and pilgrims are allowed to bring medication, food, half a liter of water, and a small camping chair. The liturgy will be held in Latin, songs will be sang in Hungarian, and Pope Francis will preach in Italian. There will be simultaneous translations to Hungarian, Romanian and English, and if larger groups require it, to other languages as well. Participants will have the possibility to tune in to a determined radio frequency, where the interpretation can be heard.


Title image:

Press conference in Kolozsvár with the the bishop of the Nagyvárad diocese and the press committee in charge of the Csíksomlyó-event 



Author: Éva Zay