OUR LADY OF SORROWS' CHAPEL
"If anyone wants to come after me, take up his cross and follow me"
When Antal Lipthay and his wife saw that people nowadays strayed away from God, love and nature, they decided to build a place where people can experience the path of Jesus Christ. They started dreaming of the stations around the beautiful landscape of the Benczúrfalva vineyard hill – a scene that brings people closer to God. They realised the dream with the support of good people and organisations. The construction of St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross.
At the end of the Stations of the Cross, the highest part is where the Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel is being constructed as an atonement for peace.
Both initiatives aim at strengthening love and peace among people.
The construction of the chapel was started by Antal Lipthay and his wife and by Pro Arte et Natura Foundation. The aim of the Foundation is to restore neglected cultural values and to raise awareness so that these values continue to strengthen the Hungarian nation.
Marking the places of the Stations
The future stations of the St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross were chosen in 2002. Antal Lipthay had previously set the sticks that marked the stations, and then the Franciscan Gergely Magyar, then guardian priest of Szécsén lead the people with the help of Franciscan friars and novices. Together they set the temporary stations on the vineyard hill.
This is when Antal Lipthay opened his private property to the public, to people seeking God, and to those who wish to contemplate and pray for peace on the path of Jesus Christ.
The St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross was finished
After 2002, it took long time until the St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross were finished. The clearing of the area of 4 hectares was started in the autumn of 2014. The building of the permanent stations was started in 2015 after the Holy Week, and thanks to the generosity of the supporters, everything was finished until the first Sunday of Advent. As if God had wanted us to set up the place between the two saint days. The gravel road of 800 metres and the 15 stations were finished in less than a year. Station 15 is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The last station was sponsored by the Association of Hungarian Historic Families as a supplication for the resurrection of Hungary. Once the work was finished, it was snowing all night, and the sun was shining the next day, revealing the astonishing white landscape, almost as a way to show God’s happiness.
Blessing of the St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross were blessed on 12 June 2016, one day before the day of Anthony of Padua.
The stations were blessed by canon János Sánta Dr., Chaplain of His Holiness. The ceremony was also attended by Hungarian chief priest to Italy, Dr. László Németh, prelate of His Holiness and head of the Roman Saint Stephen House, János Varga, rector of the Hungarian Pázmáneum of Vienna and Zalán Miklós, priest of Nógrádmegyer, who celebrated a holy mass together at the place of the future chapel, the 15th station. With this ceremony, the Stations of the Cross bearing the name of Saint Anthony have become “sacred place”, and are now open to Christian people from Hungary and abroad. Our intention was to create a place for those who wish to come closer to God by connecting their own suffering to the suffering of Christ, or for those who wish to pray for the peace of the world.
Laying the foundation stone, the time capsule of the chapel
On March 25, 2017, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the foundation stone of the Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel was laid by the bishop of Vác, Dr. Miklós Beer together with Antal Lipthay. The chapel at the end of the Stations of the Cross, after station 15 is being built from the donations of private persons and legal entities and institutions. According to our plans, if we receive the required amount, the chapel should be finished in 2018. The construction is monitored by Pro Arte et Natura Foundation together with Antal Lipthay and his wife. The supervisor is the Hungarian architect, Miklós Kovács.
The chapel has a circular shape that used to be a tradition during the Arpad dynasty and because it inspires people to pray and see how complete God’s world is.
The first mass on the foundations of the chapel
The first mass was delivered on June 11, 2017, in honor of Anthony of Padua by the Franciscan Loránd Portik on the foundations of the Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel that had been finished by then. It was a hot summer day with clear sky and thin clouds. The believers were led through the stations with prayers by the Franciscan nun Klarissza Takács, the caretaker of the poor. After the mass, Antal Lipthay thanked brother Lóránd for this historic event. In his brief speech, Mr. Lipthay also underlined the fact that the place is open to all people of goodwill, to all who seek peace or those who bear the suffering of Christ in their hearts.
The construction of
the chapel continues
The second phase of the construction of the Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel started in October 2017. During this phase, the yard and the 7.5 meters high and 70 cm, wide walls of the chapel will be finished. Phase III of the construction entails the hemispheric dome.
An important influencing factor is the weather because during wet climate the service road is not accessible for the machines, and they have to wait until the roads are dry again.
Another important factor of the construction is the financial background that is provided through donations and offerings.
If the weather and financial resources allow, the chapel can be consecrated as early as 2018.
The second Mass celebrated
honoring St Anthony of Padua
On June 10, 2018, Father János Varga, the rector of the Pázmáneum of Vienna, was celebrated honoring Saint Anthony in Padua on Sunday. On a beautiful summer day, the sky is the cupola of the Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel, the Mass was celebrated inside of the round chapel. The faithful walked up the hill by the St. Anthony's Votive Stations of the Cross to the Chapel praying with Father Varga Janos and two Franciscan poor nurses attending.
In his homily, Father Janos Varga encouraged the faithful to follow the path of Christ in the spirit of love serving Christian values, trusting in the Providence. After Mass, Antal Lipthay acknowledged Father Varga for his deep thoughts expressed, and as he did last year, he reaffirmed that this place, the offering for peace, is open to all persons of goodwill. He expressed his hope that thanks to generous support the cupola of the chapel will soon be built.
The construction of the 2nd phase is ready. Collecting donations to build the dome has begun.
On June 9, 2018, the construction of Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel's 2nd phase was finished. At this stage, the walls of the chapel were raised to a height of 7.5 meters, 70 cm thick, including the upper wreath. The cost was almost 20 million forints. Now, the 3rd phase of the hemispherical dome is to start. From this point on, every support, and donations will be serving to build the dome.
The construction of the dome can also be assisted with voluntary support and work. Thus, costs can be reduced to costs of material, and related services to be paid. About 15 million forints is needed for the realization of the dome.
In honor of St. Anthony the III. holy mass was presented
On June 16, 2019, the III. Mass in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua was presented by fr. Loránd Portik OFM. The wall of the Sorrowful Chapel of Our Lady was ready. It was a beautiful summer day and there were beautiful natural phenomena in the sky to accompany the Mass.
Antal Lipthay and his wife thanked fr. Lóránd, the guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of Szécsény, for presenting again the Mass in the chapel, which is open to all who are wishing peace and bearing the suffering of Christ in his heart.
The construction of the 3rd phase has begun. Building the dome has started.
The parish of Szécsény contributed to the construction of the dome through the grant No. EGYH-EOR-19-1145. The angled roof structure of the dome was fabricated and assembly began on April 7, 2020. The other necessary building materials were procured, planking is in progress, and lightning protection was installed.
on the Day of Our Lady of Sorrows
On the day of the chapel, on September 15, 2020, fr. Varga Kapistrán OFM celebrated the Mass.
Pilgrims came from the area and further afield, from Budapest, who listened to Father Kapistrán's sermon on the thoughts of empathy, sympathy, compassion for those suffering, and the sorrows of the Mother. After the mass, a friendly conversation took place in the shade of an ash tree, the frame of the agape. It was good to experience the concern, and the group effort for the construction of the chapel.
Csongor Szerdahelyi conducted an interview, which can be heard on Hungarian Catholic Radio here: