Mary's miraculous statue (photo EPF); cross in monastery courtyard (photo: Karolina Tima Szabo)
It’s a Small World!
My friend Piroska H. and I, from the US, went with two other ladies, from Europe and Canada respectively, to Csíksomlyó, Transylvania for the annual Pentecost pilgrimage in 2006. Having made reservations for several nights, we arrived the day before the actual festivities, and immediately went to see the church housing the miraculous statue. (For a report on Csíksomlyó, see the July 2017 issue of Magyar News Online).
It is the custom for pilgrims, who come in groups from near and far, to ring something like a Swiss cowbell as they enter the church. We were just leaving when a fresh group arrived and rang their bell. I asked one of the ladies where they were from. To my great surprise, she answered “Hunyad”.
Now there are two Hunyads in Transylvania: Vajdahunyad and Bánffyhunyad. To clarify, I asked her, “You mean Vajdahunyad?” “Yes”, she replied. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! My Mother was born in Vajdahunyad! Of the over 400,000 pilgrims who attended that year, I actually ran into someone from my Mom’s birthplace??? Was this a case of a “Small World” episode, or was it a message? While it is tempting to say it was a “small world” encounter, I like to think Mom wanted me to know she was there with me!