To celebrate Pope Francis’ visit to the Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc pilgrimage site, a massive székelykapu (Székely gate: in other words, a carved, ornamental wooden gate) was built in Zeteváralja/Sub Cetate and mounted on Monday afternoon on the way to the Hármashalom altar. The carved gate will welcome the Holy Father and the pilgrims arriving in the Csíksomlyó saddle for the holy Mass on June 1.
The construction of the huge Székely gate was possible due to the joint efforts of the Szekler counties, president of the Hargita/Harghita County Council Csaba Borboly said in a press release in April announcing the preparatory arrangements of the papal visit.
Handmade in the woodworking shop of the Zeteváralja/Sub Cetate-based Géza Vámszer Schoolhouse for Art, the creation process of the monumental artwork was coordinated by wood carver Lajos András, helped by 25 of his students. The székelykapu measures more than 8 m in width and 5.5 m in height. Every Székely gate, including this freshly erected one, features a text offering a variety of information such as the owner, the year of construction, a message for the visitor, or religious fragments. The words of Albert Wass, a renowned 20th century Hungarian writer, are written along the top of the gate: “To your ancestors’ holy faith and to your nation’s roots – brothers and sisters – never be unfaithful.”
As we previously reported, Pope Francis has sent a video message ahead of the Romanian visit, and tomorrow will bring a special gift – a golden rose – which he will deliver at the end of the Mass. For this specific reason, the statue of Our Lady of Csíksomlyó will be transported to the mountain saddle.
Title image: the massive Székely gate welcoming the Holy Father and the pilgrims arriving in the Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc saddle.