Celldömölk has been a target of pilgrims already at the age of the Arpad dynasty. The history of the pilgrimage is strongly connected to the Benedictine Abbey at the foot of the Ság Hill. Although there are no written memories about the Abbey of Dömölk that was built for the glory of Mother Mary it was established at the reign of King Béla the IIIrd. The ruins of the gothic church can still be seen.

Thanks to the Benedictine monks living in the abbey Dömölk became a target for pilgrims already during the middle ages. The priests coming from Pannonhalma have brought a Mother Mary statue with them that is officially recognized as a miracle maker by the Church. Most of the visitors came from the surrounding areas at that time.

During the Turkish thralldom the monastery has been destroyed. However the holy statue of the church has been saved by a Benedictine monk who has brought it to the church of Dénesd. It can be found there today as well. The loss of the statue has caused decrease in the number of visitors. The renewal of the abbey of Dömölk was in the 1720s when Abbot Benedek Sajgó has nominated Bonifác Lancsics as the leader of the abbey. He has not only stopped the economic decadence bat has revitalized the pilgrimages as well. The grave of him can be found in the vault under the ruins of the church.

The recovery of the abbey and the pilgrimages has been organized by a Czech-origin priest, Odó Koptik, who has been a priest of Mariazell after his ordainment. He has been nominated as the leader of the abbey in 1739 by Benedek Sajgó, the Abbot of Pannonhalma. When e has arrived to Dömölk he has only found three monks and very bad circumstances.

Odó Koptik has brought with him the accurate copy of the ststue of Mariazell and has placed it in a wooden chapel next to the road to Pápa. He has also had a well dug next to it. During the digging of the well a rock has fallen on the head of a worker, but despite of his serious injuries he has recovered. His mysterious recovery was said to be caused by te Mother Mary statue. The story has spread fast and many pilgrims have soon arrived to the statue. In 1745 Baron Ferenc Zichy, bishop of Győr has declared the statue „saint and miracle maker”. Afterwards there were yeas when more than 50 thousand pilgrims have arrived to the statue that is said to make miracles. Meanwhile the wooden chapel has been rebuilt from stone by pilgrims from Szombathely and the statue was placed there in November 1745 by the bishop of Győr.

As the time has passed the chapel became too small for the pilgrimages arriving from all over the world so Odó Koptik has decided to build a new church. The building of the church with a chapel for the statue started in spring 1747 and was already finished by the autumn after. The Mother Mary Sanctuary that was based on the example of the church of Mariazell was finished in September 1748, the statue has been placed in the new chapel as well. The old Saint Anne Chapel has lost its significance and although it was renewed once in 1825 it was demolished because of a military training at the times of emperor Frank Joseph. The saint well has been left and also renewed later.

During the reign of Joseph the IInd the situation became even more serious when the emperor has dissolved the holy orders. Although Bishop János Szily has declared to support the Benedictines in Kiscell, even he could not help, the Benedictine order was dissolved on 24 January 1787.

After the renewal of the Benedictine order in 1802, the leaders of the abbey have followed the way shown by Odó Koptik until the new dissolution of the order in 1950.

The Mother Mary Sanctuary is 50 m long, 21 m wide and forms a cross. The two baroque towers stand on the western façade of the church. When you enter the church on the main gate, the view is spectacular. The chapel with the saint statue of Mother Mary is in the front of the long nave. The gates of the church are always open for the visitors.

When we step out from the vestry of the church we arrive on wooden steps to the Treasury. The walls of the Treasury are decorated with the paintings of Schweichard the Austrian painter. The murals were painted in the 18th century. The most valuable pieces of the Treasury are two wardrobes from the 17th century, they contain many objects of remembrance and glory.
Close to the Mother Mary church we can find the Calvary that was built in the 1750s by Colonel János Liptay. This baroque building proves the blessing of the colonel towards the Benedictine order.

The Benedictine Abbey that is situated next to the church was built from 1760. It was finished in baroque style in 1770. For a long time it was the building of the Municipality but recently it became the property of the Abbey of Pannonhalma.

The Sanctuary, the Benedictine monastery and the buildings of the Calvary are one of the most remarkable memories of the Hungarian Benedictine Monks. The Hungarian Mariazell is a beautiful part of the Central-European pilgrimage, the Way of Mary. The way connects more than one hundred Mother Mary Sanctuaries from Mariazell in Austria to Csíksomlyó on 1400 kms.

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