SASTIN, Slovakia, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - Pope Francis concluded his trip to Hungary and Slovakia on Wednesday, during which he urged majority Catholic countries not to shut down and to avoid using religion for politics.
The last day of his trip, Francis presided over a mass in fulln air for over 50,000 people at a national shrine in Western Slovakia, traditionally popular with women in difficult marriages.
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Sastin, near the s with the Czech Republic and Austria, has its origins in the 16th century when, according to legend, the wife of a count who mistreated her begged the Virgin to change it.
Once, when he threw her out of their car after an argument, she prayed there and promised to order a statue there. 'Madonna ' s honor if she turned the husband.
As she walked home, her husband turned around, came back to get her and , weeping, asked his wife for forgiveness.
The wooden statue, known as the Sorrowful Madonna, which measures 85 cm by 91 cm , was taken out of the sanctuary and placedee near the altar where the Pope held the last event of his journey before his return to Rome.
Today, the Sanctuary of Sastin collects prayer requests online, mainly regarding family issues such as marriage issues.
On the cross above the altar , two beams from a church destroyed by a tornado that ravaged the neighboring Czech Republic in June were placed.
Francis, 84, who is 'is shown in good shape throughout the trip despite its operation in July, thanked the organizers and the faithful after the mass.
During his four-day trip, the Pope warned Agai nst of exploiting religion for politics, and he spoke out against prejudice and discrimination as he visited a Holocaust memorial and stopped in an impoverished Roma community. Report by Philip Pullella in Sastin and Robert Muller in Bratislava
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