Pilgrimage to Șumuleu Ciuc
The Şumuleu Ciuc/Csíksomlyó Pentecost pilgrimage began in 1567, a vow of pilgrimage of szeklers for the protection of their Catholic faith, which has become the most significant pilgrimage of Hungarians since 1990.
According to the chronicles, the first pilgrimage to Şumuleu Ciuc/Csíksomlyó, with the leadership of priest István, was started from Joseni/Gyergyóalfalu more than 450 years ago. According to the records, Monarch János Zsigmond wanted to force the population of Csík County to change to the Unitarian religion and sent an army to capture the captain of the Csík castle.
The priest from that time, István priest, gathered the people of Joseni/Gyergyóalfalu and its surroundings and went to Şumuleu Ciuc/Csíksomlyó to confront the ruler’s army, but eventually the battle did not take place, because the leaders of the army realized that the internecine war was meaningless. The peaceful retreat of the ruler’s army is considered as a miracle of Mary, thus priest István promised that he will lead the pilgrimage for the people of Joseni/Gyergyó to Şumuleu Ciuc /Csíksomlyó on Saturdays at every Pentecost. The significance of „pilgrimage branch” can be traced back to the same story, which is collected by the pilgrims of Şumuleu Ciuc/Csíksomlyó. When the army of the monarch retreated, they sent a messenger to the church in Gyergyóalfalu, where the woman, the children and the elders remained to pray. The messenger signaled with a white branch in his hand that the danger has passed.