The village of Mátraverebély-Szentkút has been welcoming pilgrims for more than eight hundred years by now. The legend says that sometime in 1091-92, when St. Ladislaus, King of Hungary was fleeing from the Cuman invasion, suddenly a deep chasm stopped his way. His escape from the chasm edge seemed rather hopeless, still he managed to leap over with his horse, and water sprang up where his horse hoof touched the ground. “The legend beautifully reflects the Hungarian literary tradition: St. Ladislaus as the new Moses, springing water from the rock and giving a legislative frame to the Hungarians, just like Moses did it to the Jews.” – as it can be read on the website of the Shrine.
A Virgin Mary apparition goes back to the 13th century. Virgin Mary, with Baby Jesus in her arms appeared to a mute shepherd from the village of Verebély. Upon Mary’s order the boy started to dig a hole and drank from the water that was springing up. In return to his obedience he regained his ability of speaking.
In 1210 a church was built in the village of Mátraverebély. In 1700 Pope Clement XI ordered an investigation on some miraculous healings in the village of Szentkút, and as a result he recognized their authenticity. Shortly afterwards the first stone chapel was built. The base of the current sanctuary was laid down in 1758. In the 1920’ Szentkút flourished and became again an extremely popular shrine maintained by the Franciscan order. After the 2nd World War, the freshly developed communism chased out the Franciscan friars, nationalized the monastery, and turned it into a nursery home.
The Order of the Friars Minor returned in 1989, renewed the exterior of the shrine and repurchased their former lands. Szentkút, the most important shrine of Hungary was declared a National Shrine by Cardinal Primate Péter Erdő in 2006. Ten years later the shrine was affiliated with the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore of Rome, therefore providing unique privileges to Szentkút.
In 2013, during his visit to the Vatican, János Áder, President of Hungary gifted Pope Francis with a bottle of water from the Mátraverebély Shrine’s spring.
Regular catechesis about the Eucharist are held in the National Shrine, ensuring a help in the preparation of the September Eucharistic Congress.
On June 27, on the feast of St. Ladislaus of Hungary, Gábor Mohos, Auxiliary Bishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary will celebrate a Holy Mass at the National Shrine.
Source and photo: szentkut.hu