Special sacral place, Shrine of Mary, place of pilgrimage. One of the main attractions of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Hungarians of the Pauline Order is the icon depicting the Black Madonna, which was brought to Hungary from the headquarters of the Pauline Order in Poland. A pilgrimage to the shrine is often organized, but it is also available by an independent route. It is a monastery with the wall of the church, now a penitentiary, but this does not deter anyone from visiting the sacral place.

One of the country's best-known places of farewell, the church is named after its patron saint (Maria nostra: Our Mary). The parish church of Our Lady of the Hungarians of the Pauline Order is a replica of Mary's grace in Częstochowa, which was placed here as a gift. Marianostra farewells are held on the first weekend of July, in early September and in the first week of December. Next to it is the Baroque monastery, the third largest monastery in the country. Today it operates as a prison.
Once King Louis the Great built the monastery for members of the Pauline order, and next to it a church, which was consecrated in honor of Our Lady of the Hungarians. This is how the name of the settlement became – Maria Nostra, that is, Our Mary.
Of the Gothic structure, only the sanctuary remains from the XIV century. The rest of the church was rebuilt in the eighteenth century, which is still one of the most beautiful works of Baroque architecture.

The magnificent complex of buildings standing on a high terrace surrounded by a fence wall can be seen from afar.
According to legend, St. Hedwig was also brought up in the monastery, who generously supported the monks of the Pauline order. In Poland, it was then that the headquarters of the Pauline Order was founded, where the original Black Madonna can be seen. Since 2006, St. Hedvig has also been the patron saint of the Danube Bend. The storms of history did not spare the monastery and the church either. It was demolished and remodeled several times, until in the early 1800s the convent was transferred to the state, initially operating as a women's prison under the treatment of sisters of mercy. Later, in the 1950s, the Marianostra prison became one of the strictest institutions, now with male inmates. István Bibó, Árpád Göncz, László Mensáros, among others, were imprisoned here...
The church towers right behind the stone fence and the arched gate. In the 1990s, it was returned to the ownership of the Pauline Order, with the addition of additional purchased buildings. In 2012, the Church of Our Lady of the Hungarians was awarded the title of Basilica Minor by the Holy See, from here we call the church, which has experienced exceptional historical times, the basilica. At the entrance you can see the statue of the founder King Louis the Great, and above the entrance is the unique Black Madonna.
The convent is still owned by the state and operates as a prison.
The shrine can be reached by car, long-distance bus and the small railway between Szob and Nagybörzsöny.

Photos: Zsolt Benedek

2629 Marianostra, Paulos Square 2.

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