Gyor, Hungary: Cathedral of Our Lady of Gyor
The Cathedral of Gyor is a popular pilgrimage destination in Hungary, despite not being widely known outside of Eastern Europe.
About the image of Our Lady of Gyor:
The attraction is an image of the Blessed Mother that has its origins in Ireland. During the 17th Century when Cromwell and his army invaded Ireland and imprisoned priests, demolished churches and persecuted Catholics, Bishop Walter Lynch of Clonfort was imprisoned on an island. He was able to take with him an image of the Blessed Mother that had hung in the Cathedral of Clonfort for many years.
He later escaped from the island, taking the picture with him. He traveled first to Portugal and then to Gyor, Hungary. The local Bishop made him his auxiliary, and upon his death, Bishop Lynch bequeathed the image to the Cathedral in Gyor.
Meantime Ireland continued to suffer even more persecution as all Catholic priests and religious were banished by an act of the British parliament.
The story takes a more dramatic turn here, because on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1697, as thousands of people packed the Cathedral at Gyor, the image began to weep tears of blood. Several priests tried to wipe away the tears but they continued for about three hours. Later they took the image off the wall to examine it but could find no natural explanation.
As mentioned this event was witnessed by thousands and testimonies were signed by the Bishop, Priests, Protestant clergy and a Rabbi.
Certainly Ireland and Hungary have suffered persecution over the years, and the image of the Blessed Mother with the child Jesus lying on a pillow is a bond between the two countries. The image is in a side chapel to the left of the main altar. The Cathedral is open daily.
Traveling to Gyor:
There is frequent train service from Budapest. Travel time is about two hours. The train station is less than a mile from the Cathedral.
Click here for the official Cathedral of Gyor website (in Hungarian).
1. Catholic Shrines of Central and Eastern Europe, Kevin J. Wright, Liguori Publications, 1999.
2. Photo courtesy Cathedral of Gyor.