Culture

Private Pentecost Mass will be held in Csíksomlyó/ Şumuleu Ciuc

According to the Facebook page of the Transylvanian Franciscans, this year’s Pentecost Mass falls on the 30th of May and will be organized in the spirit of the Year of Eucharist and in preparation for the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. The Transylvanian Franciscan monks are guardians of the place of worship in Csíksomlyó, where tens of thousands head each year in the Pentecost Pilgrimage.

In their statement, the monks reported that they have chosen the slogan of the year 2020 according to this Bible quote, which is also the motto of the pilgrimage, the largest annual pilgrimage in Romania: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” (Luke, 1:36).

“The organizing of the pilgrimage at the beginning of this year started in the traditional way: the composition of the order of the Mass, the invitation of the speaker, preparation of the Message of Csíksomlyó, etc. However the regulations established to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the curfew and its eventual extension, have made organizing the pilgrimage in the traditional way uncertain,” says the statement.

The Franciscans emphasize that it is premature to publish information regarding the process of the pilgrimage, but they will do their best to hold a Mass, even if it is only in private, in the place of worship. “As soon as the partial lifting of the restrictions related to the pandemic is more certain, we will inform the pilgrims of the possibility of engaging in the pilgrimage Mass via a statement,” they wrote. However, a website and Facebook page for the place of worship does have videos of past Masses and will have a live-stream of this year’s Mass as well. The site also has other information pertaining to the place of worship and the pilgrimage, per the Franciscan brothers’ announcement.

The annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to the village of Csíksomlyó/ Şumuleu Ciuc usually attracts between 50,000 and 100,000 attendees each year. The event takes place near a friary and church belonging to the Transylvanian Order of Franciscans, who have maintained their presence in Transylvania since the 15th century. The Romanian communist government allowed Transylvanian Franciscan friars to continue serving in Csíksomlyó throughout communism, even though the Order was not allowed to accept new members during this time and the government discouraged large groups from attending the pilgrimage. Despite this policy, many older locals eagerly share their memories of visiting Csíksomlyó in secret over the Pentecost weekend during these dark years of Romanian history.

Featured photo: Facebook page of Transylvanian Franciscans.

Author: Blanka Székely