Csiksomlyo, Romania: Miraculous Statue of Our Lady
About the Shrine at Şumuleu-Ciuc (Csíksomlyó):
The major Marian Shrine at Csiksomlyo is the only major Catholic Shrine in the country. The shrine dates from the 14th Century when the Franciscans founded it, and actually consists of a Franciscan monastery church, a Way of the Cross, the Anthony Chapel and the Savior Chapel……located on the nearby Kissomlyo Hill (seleu-mic in Rumanian). It was here that Pope Francis celebrated Mass during his visit in 2019.
The statue of Our Lady…over 6 feet tall……was a feature in the church from the 15th century, it is presumably the work of a Hungarian wood-carving center, although the origins of the statue are unclear. The statue is on display above the High Altar in the church, which itself is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Many came to pray before the statue and reports of miracles due to Our Lady’s intercession. Mary stands in the sun, holding the Child Jesus and a scepter.
In the ensuing centuries the shrine itself was attacked and burnt to the ground on several occasions, yet the statue miraculously survived. There is also a report of one enemy soldier who attempted to pierce the statue with his lance but was not able to do so.
The shrine draws thousands of faithful each year, not only from Romania but from many other countries as well, especially nearby Hungary.
Each year, on Pentecost Sunday, the annual pilgrimage takes place.The origin of the pilgrimage goes back to Pentecost of 1567. At the time the Hungariana king (a non-Catholic), Zsigmond Janos (1540-1571) with his Protestant army attacked the Catholics assembled for what amounted to a congress to force them to abandon their faith; however, he was defeated and the victory of the Catholics was attributed to the help of the Virgin Mary.
Traveling to Şumuleu-Ciuc (Csíksomlyó):
If you are traveling independently, trains from Bucharest to Miercurea- Ciuc take about 4-5 hours if you catch a direct train. From there it is about one mile to the shrine. there is also an overnight train, leaving around 11:30 p.m. (23:30) and arriving next morning at 9:20 a.m.
Drive time from Bucharest is estimated to be about 4 hours as well.
Click here for the official website of the Csiksomlyo Shrine (In Hungarian–click the tab on the page for English).