The symbol of the Congress, the Mission Cross starts its country-wide tour

01 March 2018

The Mission Cross of the International Eucharistic Congress starts its journey around the country. The Cross was blessed and set on the journey by His Eminence, Péter Cardinal Erdő in the afternoon of the 24th February, in the Basilica of Esztergom. Until the beginning of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest in 2020 the Cross will be taken to each and every diocese. The journey itself will start on 2nd March, the first station will be Máriapócs, after which the Cross will be erected in eight other places within the Diocese of Nyíregyháza.

The Mission Cross was crafted back in 2007, for the Mission on the City in Budapest. The almost five metres high, oak Cross with bronze fittings is the work of the master goldsmith Csaba Ozsvári (1963-2009) and it is kept in the Cathedral of Esztergom. Its floral ornaments depicts the motives of the goldsmith' art of the age of the Hungarian Conquest. But the Cross is not only a unique piece of goldsmith's work, but it is also a reliquary. In the middle of the Cross in a silver capsule one can find the relic of the Holy Cross and within the turns of the leaves it is surrounded by the relics of Hungarian saints and blesseds.

The Cross was first exhibited during the Mission on the City of Budapest in 2007, and after that the northern nave of the Cathedral of Esztergom houses it. In the last ten years the metal parts of the cross have become oxidized, so the restoration became unavoidable and necessary. The works of cleaning and conserving were carried out by the goldsmith and restorer János Szabó, who also was present by the birth of the cross. During the restoration they succeeded in the corrosion layer by rinsing, brushing, grinding and polishing. As a final act the restorer brushed the dried parts with airtight lacquer, so the bronze ornaments will keep their shining for years. During the reassembling on the spot the relics of five new Hungarian Saints and blessed - St. Martin, Blessed Gisella, Blessed Tódor Romzsa, Blessed Vilmos Apor, Blessed Zoltán Meszlényi - were also added to enrich the mission cross, which was transported to the Vatican in a special holder, where Pope Francis blessed it.