Pope Francis's visit to Harghita County
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:18:30
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.

Over the centuries, around the statue occurred numerous miracles. In many occasions its glow illuminated the whole church without the need of other light sources. In the year 1661, during the Turkish-Tatar invasion, the church was set on fire, but despite this, the statue has remained unscathed. In previous centuries, until the 1950s, the infant in Mary`s arms was dressed in different clothes, their color being changed according to the liturgical time.

Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, many prayers have been answered. This fact is commemorated by many metal objects, the so-called votive objects, that have been placed there by the believers whose prayers have received divine answer. The metal artifacts from the 18th century represent hands, feet, heart and other parts of the human body, some of them are made of gold and silver. The most valuable ones were sold, and their price was used to build the present church. Beginning in the 1940s, votive tablets are made of marble and they prove that the prayers had been answered.