Șumuleu Ciuc

The most valuable sacred work of art at the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Șumuleu is the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, carved from lime wood between 1510-1515, by an unknown artist. With a height of 2.27 m, the sculpture is the highest in the world. It represents the "Woman clothed in Sun". She has the moon under her feet, a halo made up of 12 stars behind her head, and a crown on her head.  In her right, she holds a scepter, and in her left, the Holy Infant Jesus. In 1798 Ignác Batthyány, the Bishop of Alba Iulia, declared it a wonder-working statue with the title Mother of Help.

On Pentecost Saturday, according to the Western Calendar, tens of thousands of believers gather at the Basilica of Șumuleu to express their devotion to the Mother of God before her wonder working statue. The pilgrimage takes place every year since 1567 – then as legend says – Szekler Catholics from Ciuc and Gheorgheni won a victory over the troops of John Sigismund, the Prince Transylvania, who converted to Protestantism and wanted to convert also the population to the new denomination, so he came with troops from Odorhei to Ciuc. 

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