Seeing and Touching (Sacral Communication in a Shrine-to-Be) Cover Image

Látás és érintés Szakrális kommunikáció egy alakuló kegyhelyen
Seeing and Touching (Sacral Communication in a Shrine-to-Be)

Author(s): Éva Pócs
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Pannonhalmi Főapátság

Summary/Abstract: This paper describes the early results of a research effort examining a new, hitherto unrecognized, Roman Catholic shrine. The location is Szőkefalva, a Transylvanian village in Maros County where the majority of the population is Hungarian Calvinist, but there is also a considerable number of Romanians and Gypsies. In this village a blind Gypsy women has been reporting 'Mary's messages' for nine years in both Romanian and Hungarian to pilgrims of mixed nationalities and denominations. The paper traces the process of the emergence and legitimization of the shrine from the spontaneous 'founding vision' to the point when the shrine became legitimized by the local church. The main line of thought is an examination of the role of the vision, as a miracle, in the eyes of the priesthood on various rungs of the clerical hierarchy and the clerical authorities who are entitled to judge the authenticity of the visions. We also examine the role of the vision in the visionary's ambitions at self-legitimization and identification and its function in the everyday life of pilgrims visiting the shrine. Besides answering these questions, a further conclusion also results: there are signs indicating that at Szőkefalva we are witnessing a process of legitimization and identification which is different from the procedure that customarily takes place at Catholic shrines. Thus, this particular shrine might develop into the expression of a multi-national local identity overarching religious and ethnic hostilities.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 45-58
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Hungarian