A group of Hungarian pilgrims left Budapest on Monday morning for the southern Polish town of Czestochowa, a religious site with the Black Madonna, a treasured icon kept in the Jasna Gora Monastery, the organisers of the pilgrimage tour said.
They will be joined by pilgrims from Transylvania to form a large group of 200, they told MTI, adding that at a time of a receding pandemic and a war nearby, such a pilgrimage was more needed than ever. It also serves to revive the centuries-long friendship of Poland and Hungary, they said.
“As Czestochowa is a Hungarian-founded religious site, it’s almost like we’re going home,” priest Antal Michels told MTI at the departure. “We are taking with us a lot of prayers for peace now with a war going on in neighbouring Ukraine.”
The pilgrims on Tuesday will attend a holy mass celebrated in the Hungarian Chapel of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow administered by Hungarian bishop József Tamás and Marek Jedraszewski, the Archbishop of Krakow.
They will travel on to Czestochowa on Wednesday to participate in a holy mass and a walk to Calvary at the monastery where they will be joined by Miklós Soltész, the Hungarian state secretary for religious relations, and Tibor Gelencser, Hungary’s consul general in Krakow.
The Black Madonna of Czestochowa is a Byzantine icon from the 6th or 9th century. The icon was taken to Poland by Hungarian Pauline monks in 1382, who founded the Jasna Gora Monastery in the same year.