The Diocese of Debrecen – Nyíregyháza, the Archdiocese of St. Anne located in Debrecen and the Episcopal Office of the Trans-Tisza Reformed Diocese commemorate the visit of Pope St. John Paul II with a rich three-day series of festivities lasting from 16th to 18th August 2021. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s visit to Debrecen, a historic event, two publications were made and a statue of the pope was erected on the staircase of St. Anne’s Cathedral.
August 16th, 2011
On August 16th, 2011, for the first time Pope St. John Paul II visited the followers of the Hungarian Church. On the occasion of Pope St. John Paul’s first apostolic trip to Hungary, which lasted from 16th to 20th August 1991, he also attended an ecumenical meeting with representatives of the fraternal churches in Debrecen on 18th August.
The Holy Father celebrated Mass in Máriapócs that morning, then arrived in Debrecen via Nyíregyháza. The helicopters landed at the Nagyerdei Stadium at five in the afternoon. The Holy Father was taken to the Great Church by a papal mobile, where, in addition to the guests, about fifty thousand people were waiting for him in the square in front of the church.
In his high-impact speech in the Great Church, the Pope spoke in support of the Catholic Church’s committed unity aspirations. At the closing moment of the ecumenical meeting, in the spirit of the reconciliation of Catholics and Reformed believers in Christ, he placed a wreath on the memorial pillar of the Protestant Galician preachers in the Garden of Remembrance behind the Great Church.
The blessed result of Pope St. John Paul’s visit to Hungary at that time was the settlement of the borders of the Hungarian dioceses. With the apostolic constitution of the Hungarorum Gens, it reshaped the territorial division of the Latin-American parish government in Hungary and established two new dioceses. Thus, on May 31st, 1993, he also established the Diocese of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza, of which he appointed Nándor Bosák as his first bishop.
This ecumenical meeting of historical significance, the forward-looking speech of the Holy Father, and the selfless, humble, and fraternal gesture of the wreath-laying of the pillar of remembrance are, and still are, accounted for throughout the world.
Festive program series for the anniversary of the visit
For the 30th anniversary of the historic visit, the Catholic and Reformed denominations are preparing together. The Diocese of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza and the St. Anne’s Parish in Debrecen look back on the visit unveiling of a new statue and a three-day program series – August 16th-18th, 2021 – in which the Episcopal Office of the Trans-Tisza Reformed Diocese also joined. The locations and participants of the programs also point to ecumenical relations and unity.
Monday, August 16th, 2021 – Kölcsey Center Ballroom, 1st floor
17:00 – Film screening II. On the visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Debrecen
18:00 – Round table discussion II. On the significance of Pope St. John Paul II’s visit to Debrecen
The participants are greeted by: Ferenc Palánki, Bishop of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza
Participants in the discussion: dr. Reformed Bishop Károly Fekete , dr. Retired Roman Catholic Bishop Endre Gyulay , dr. Szilárd Keresztes, retired Greek Catholic bishop, Zsigmond Vad, Reformed bishop, retired pastor, dr. Mrs. Dr. Ilona Várhelyiliterary historian, museologist.
The conversation is moderated by: Ákos Mikos , an employee of the Hungarian Catholic Radio
Debrecen Reformed Church – Tuesday, August 17th 2021,
18:00 – Ecumenical Liturgy of the Word – Debrecen Reformed Church of
the Liturgy of the Word II. They read the speech of John Paul 30 years ago and pray together for the scriptural details given during the visit.
19:00 – Wreathing of the Gályarabab Memorial Column – Memorial Garden Behind the Great Church
Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 – St. Anne’s Cathedral in Debrecen
17:15 – Sung rosary
18:00 – Thanksgiving Mass
The main celebrity of the Mass: dr. Archbishop Csaba Ternyák of Eger (Archbishop Csaba Ternyák was an employee of the Holy Father during his ten years in Rome, and before his visit to Hungary he gave language lessons to the Pope.)
Other participants: Ferenc Palánki, Bishop of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza, Nándor Bosák , retired . Retired Bishop of Szeged-Csanád, Endre Gyulay , Greek Catholic Archbishop Fülöp Kocsis , Metropolitan, dr. Zoltán Krakomperger, deputy bishop general, parish priest. For the Protestant Church:dr. Reformed Bishop Károly Fekete , Lutheran President Richard Asztalos , Pastor, and Orthodox Parish Barnabás Sípos . Secular dignitaries: including Miklós Soltész , in charge of religious and ethnic relations Secretary to the Prime Minister, Zoltan Pajna , president of Hajdu-Bihar County Assembly, László Papp Mayor of Debrecen, Jerzy SNOP, the Polish Ambassador to the Republic of Budapest, Istvan Gabor Debrecen chief architect and otherworldly and church dignities.
Greeting speeches will be given in the temple after Mass.
19:00 – Sculptor Jenő Kovács St. II. Blessing of the statue of Pope St. John Paul II – The staircase of the cathedral
Statue of Pope Saint John Paul II
The work of sculptor Jenő Kovács will be placed on the right side of the staircase of St. Anne’s Cathedral, as a pandant of the statue of Bishop Imre Csáky. The size of the bronze statue together with the pedestal is 220 cm, ie it is life-size, its pedestal is made of baked hard limestone with a matt polished surface.
The erection of the statue has a threefold purpose: To make the people of Debrecen and those arriving in Debrecen aware of the ecclesiastical significance of the pope’s visit to Debrecen; to make visible one of the very defining blessings of his visit: the founding of our diocese on May 31st, 1993; and draw as much inspiration as possible from his very rich and rediscoverable oeuvre, with which he prophetically interpreted the signs of the times.
With the spatial placement of the statue, it engages in a dialogue with the statue of the founder of St. Anne’s Church and the reorganizer of the Catholic faith in Debrecen, Count Imre Csáky (1672–1732) of Oradea, Archbishop of Kalocsa, Cardinal
The statue will be unveiled on Wednesday, August 18th at 7 P.M.
To be one – Memorial Book of St. II. For the 30th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s Visit to Debrecen
Two publications were also prepared for the occasion, one in the II. The album of Pope John Paul’s visit to Debrecen, made by the Bishop’s Office of the Trans-Tisza Reformed Diocese , consisting of photos of József Hapák , and published by the Diocese of Debrecen-Nyíregyháza by dr. A memorial volume compiled by Zoltán Krakomperger, Deputy Bishop, Parish Priest, which contains recollections, reports on preparation days that can also be followed in the press, and the aftermath, and of course reports on the event itself.
Source of pictures: Hungarian Courier, Debrecen.hu