A Győri Egyházmegye lapja
Különszám a kegykép Győrbe érkezésnek 350. évfordulójára 2005.
Clonfert & Győr
On the third centenary of the miraculous event, in March 1997, I led a small delegation that included Fr. Cathal Geraghty and Monsignor Louis Page to Győr for the celebrations. For the three days of our visit the cathedral was thronged: there were 2 cardinals including a special Papal Legate from Pope John Paul II, 40 archbishops and bishops and more than 250 priests over the three-day period. At the human level, the kindness shown to Bishop Walter Lynch has led to an unusual link between the small Irish rural diocese of Clonfert and the large Hungarian diocese of Györ centred in a big industrial city. It has shown us the value of friendship and the way that the consideration shown to a refugee can deepen the understanding between peoples who might otherwise never have known each other. The history of the painting has an even deeper message. It reminds us of the faith and the trust in the intercession of Our Lady that existed both in Ireland and in Hungary 350 years ago. Bishop Lynch had endured much suffering for the faith and presumably his devotion to Our Lady helped him to put up with the deprivations of flight, refugee status and exile from his own country. The official title of the painting is "Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted" and Bishop Walter Lynch was certainly one of the afflicted people of the time. Mary is clearly in the gospel a person who has had to endure suffering. She is not the diffident young girl presented in most statues. She fled to Egypt as a refugee with Joseph and her infant Son. She suffered during the period of his being missing as a boy in the temple. She endured misunderstandings at the wedding feast of Cana and when Jesus seemed to rate his followers more highly than his blood relatives. She suffered much during the period of the passion and most of all at the foot of the cross. She was a woman who was personally acquainted with suffering and affliction and is rightly titled "Consoler of the Afflicted."
A large Hungarian delegation came to Clonfert about a year and a half ago. It was a great honour to have bishop Lajos Papai and the delegation from Győr in Hungary present here this afternoon and to accept from him a copy of the painting of Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted given to his Cathedral by Bishop Lynch more than 350 years ago. It cemented the links between out two dioceses.
Now that we celebrate the 350 anniversary of the arrival of Bishop Walter Lynch in Győr, we are more conscious than ever lf the strength of these links. May the relationship between Clonfert & Győr continue to grow and develop over the years.
John Kirby Bishop
© Hitvallás - a Győri Egyházmegye folyóirata - 2002-2005
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