The Pentecost Pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó became a Hungarikum

The Committee of Hungarikums declared the Pentecost Pilgrimage and the shrine of Csíksomlyó (Şumuleu Ciuc) to be a Hungarikum at its meeting on Thursday, acknowledging its unique, religious and community-building nature, a press release of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania stated.

The Pentecost Pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó was submitted in 2018 to the Committee of Hungarikums, on the initiative of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ) with the support of the Transylvanian Franciscans.

This news is a pleasure for all of us, Erik Urbán OFM, the Provincial of the Transylvanian Franciscans told romkat.ro. According to the website, the shrine of Csíksomlyó has been a member of the European Marian Network, which has connected 21 Catholic Marian sanctuaries in 20 European Countries for more than 10 years. This is significant because Csíksomlyó is becoming more and more popular in Europe: Many pilgrims are visiting it from distant countries, and the shrine became a part of the circle of the shrines of Mary in Europe, romkat.ro states.

“Whit this step, that the shrine was declared a Hungarikum, we feel like the Pentecostal pilgrimage is more ours because the most important role of the shrine is to preserve, strengthen and transmit the faith. As St. VI. Pope Paul said: The shrines are the clinics of the spirit, and ancient shrines also have a role in preserving culture and strengthening identity. Csíksomlyó continues to encourage the preservation, strengthening and transmission of our faith,” Erik Urbán OFM said.

Hungarikum is a distinguishing mark of national values ranging from foods through cultural heritage to technical achievements, each with its own criteria set, based upon which the overseeing committee awards the distinctions.

“The decision of the Committee of Hungarikums is a great joy and honor for us because the pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó is a celebration for all Hungarians,” Csilla Hegedüs, the director of the Treasury Committee of Hungarians from Transylvania and executive vice president of RMDSZ for culture said. “We are grateful that the Pentecostal pilgrimage and the shrine of Csíksomlyó is on the same list as the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit, the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma, the intellectual legacy of Count István Széchenyi, and the Kodály-method,” Hegedüs added.

According to Hegedüs, the Pentecostal pilgrimage has become the most significant religious and national holiday of all Hungarians, with more than half a million pilgrims visiting it each year from Transylvania and from all around the world.

“Today, ecclesiastical and secular intellectuals see Csíksomlyó as the symbol of the preservation of the religious and cultural identity, so this decision is a celebration for all of us,” Hegedüs added.

“We have undertaken to be the protectors of our Transylvanian values, to preserve and to restore these values, representative not only of the Hungarians living in Transylvania, but for the entire nation. Even though the Romanian state has prevented the pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó to be included on the World Heritage List, we managed to achieve this recognition. A big dream came true today, but we continue to work so that many more Transylvanian values may gain the worthy respect and recognition,” Hegedüs said.

Title image: Csíksomlyó continues to encourage the preservation, strengthening and transmission of our faith.  

Author: Orsi Sarány