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Pilgrimage Church - Máriagyűd, Hungary

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The brick-red and white colored baroque church of the Shrine in Máriagyűd - Máriagyűd, Hungary The brick-red and white colored baroque church of the Shrine in Máriagyűd

In 2008 it received basilica title from Pope Benedict XVI.

Including the springs near the hill, the surroundings of Máriagyűd was already used by the ancient Romans, it was a resting place on the road between Sopianae and Mursa (so between the present-day Pécs, Hungary and Eszék or Osijek, Croatia). Later Christian Slavs (probably Slovenes) erected an altar here for Virgin Mary, this was then found by Benedictine monks in 1006, who were settled here by (Saint) Stephen I, the first king of Hungary. The monks built a chapel over the altar sculpture, which was replaced by a church in 1148 by the order of King Géza II of Hungary. Over the years it was rebuilt a couple of times, the current huge twin-towered baroque pilgrimage church with the cross groundplan was completed in 1742. However, the statue in the altar is not the original Marian statue, but a 300-year-old another sculpture.

Statue of Virgin Mary on the neo-baroque main altar - Máriagyűd, Hungary Statue of Virgin Mary on the neo-baroque main altar

It was created in 1862, made of Siklós "marble" (which is in reality a kind of limestone).

The statue on the high altar in the sanctuary of the Pilgrimage Church of Máriagyűd was created in 1713, as well as the silver alloy "mantles" of it in 1784. The statue of Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms was a donation of the diocesan bishop of Pécs. During the Rákóczi's War of Independence the original Marian statue was carried to Eszék town (the today's Osijek, Croatia). The war was closed by Treaty of Szatmár (present-day Satu Mare, Romania) in 1711. The people of Máriagyűd asked the statue back, but Eszék didn't give it back to them, moreover even the Pope decided unfavorably for them. The old Virgin Mary statue is still there in Eszék (Osijek) town in Croatia.

Interior of the Pilgrimage Church - Máriagyűd, Hungary Interior of the Pilgrimage Church

The church is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site since 1805, when the Pope officially recognized it. The so-called Marian apparition (alleged supernatural appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary) of 1687 played a significant role in it.

After the Ottoman rule the church was first owned by the Greek Orthodox Church, and later by the Calvinist Church. But in 1687 Virgin Mary appeared in a blaze of Heavenly light for a local Roman Catholic farmer, in the window of the church that was then owned by the Calvinists. However, it should be mentioned that the other farmer who was also there and who was Calvinist, quite interestingly did not see anything from the apparition. But the count of Siklós was praying until it turned out that after all the Calvinist farmer somehow saw the apparition. So as usual in most of the religions, there were plenty of conflicts between the different denominations, moreover the waves of the Counter-Reformation were still simmering in Hungary. The long and short of it was that by the intercession of higher lords (so actually by force) the Catholics regained the church from the Calvinists. Later, in around 1757 also an ecclesiastical investigation proved (however by an unspecified way) that the church and its surroundings are a wonderworking, miraculous shrine or sacred place. Since then it is a place of pilgrimage, and many believers come here from all over the world hoping for the physical and spiritual recovery.

In 2008 the church of Máriagyűd received Basilica Minor title from Pope Benedict XVI.

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