News about Chapel to Brother Charles in Hungary

Vasad chapel of Br CharlesVasad chapel of Br CharlesWe would like to share a beautiful story with you….

On June 8, 2020, our community in Budapest received an email with a request from Fr. Urr Zsolt Ipoly, the new pastor of the parish in Monor where the little sisters had lived for 6 years up until 2010. Having learned from the media that Pope Francis had signed the decree for the canonization of Charles de Foucauld, he asked if it was possible to obtain a relic for the chapel of Vasad, a daughter parish of Monor: a chapel built in 2007, consecrated to the Sacred Heart, and placed under the patronage of Charles de Foucauld. It’s where we often like to go for our desert days because of its beautiful natural setting.

We didn’t know this new pastor. But everything began moving along so quickly. Lsr Nelli wrote to the General Council in Tre Fontane and lsr Monika Greti wrote back with the email address of Fr Andrea Mandonico, the vice-postulator for the cause of Br Charles, the one to whom this request needed to be addressed. Two days after receiving the request, Fr. Mandonico came to Tre Fontane for a meeting of Jesus Caritas priests and gave a 1st class relic for our chapel in Vasad.

A little sister then travelled to Budapest and arrived there on July 2nd with the relic. The little sisters informed Fr. Ipoly that the relic had arrived. Actually this was the first direct contact we had with him. Without a moment’s delay, he organized a televised Mass on July 19th at 5 p.m. to formally mark the placing of the relic in the chapel that would from then on be called the chapel of St. Charles de Foucauld.

We were all a bit taken aback. It was all so fast… and who was going to organize the Mass? But Fr. Ipoly had thought of everything!! (
Lsr Nelli took advantage of her time of prayer in Vasad, just before that Sunday, to examine the situation.... Fr. Ipoly also mentioned that the television could do interviews... etc. Who was going to speak? Nelli was ready to do it. Quickly, the word was spread to and by the whole spiritual family of Br Charles, with everyone putting heart and soul into it: making plans to be there, organizing the transportation, preparing things for a get-together afterwards, etc.

Before the Mass, Hován László, one of our friends from Monor, enthusiastically explained how the project had been born and about the construction of this chapel.

"When the little sisters arrived in Monor, this chapel did not yet exist. There was a prayer group in Monor that wanted to meet on the ruins of a chapel on the outskirts of the village of Vasad.” This desire for prayer was also strongly shared by Fr. Csáki Tibor, pastor of our parish in Monor (on which the village of Vasad depends). He wanted a Catholic chapel to be reconstructed but in the village.

Fr. Tibor contacted the town council, whose members were mostly from the Reformed Church. After some discussion the council decided to allow the construction of a Catholic chapel.

It was difficult to raise the necessary funds; but thanks to Éva Mészáros the mayor of the village, the municipality donated 1000 square meters (10,764 square feet) of land to the Catholic Church for the construction of this chapel. And the Reformed Church of Vasad was very supportive, a gesture of solidarity that was of great symbolic significance. This solidarity showed that the Reformed Christians, who are in the majority there, supported the construction of the Catholic chapel.

Our pastor Fr. Tibor loved Br Charles. As two young artists from Monor, Aniko Petho and Erzsebet Paljanos, were looking for a job to finish their diplomas, Fr. Tibor asked them if they would paint a fresco on the back wall of the chapel in connection with the life of Br Charles and lsr Magdeleine. These artists often came to see us in Monor and Budapest to obtain accurate information about our two founders.”

fresco on the life of Br. Charlesfresco on the life of Br. Charlesfrom left to right:
1. Paul Embarek, 2. Muslims praying,
3. Ba Hamu, editor, 4. A wounded French soldier,
5. Henri Laperrine, 6. The traitor,
7. The one who shot Br Charles, 8. Moussa ag Amastan,
9. Dassin, woman poet, 10. Blessed Br Charles,
11. Abbé Huvelin, 12. A Trappist monk,
13. Marie de Bondy, 14. Lsr Magdeleine of Jesus,
15. Sister Elisabeth, a Poor Claire,
16. Brother Rene Voillaume

László continued: "I am in front of this fresco, and seeing Brother Charles with his hands wide open waiting patiently and welcoming everyone, let us pray that, with the presence of his relic here in this chapel, he will help all of us in our different religions to be united in the same prayer. For me, what touched me in his life was that he discovered God through contact with Muslims in prayer.”

Vasad frescoVasad fresco

The chapel was full, the two artists were present, one with her 3 children. The desire of our universal little brother was coming true: love among all people, Protestants, Catholics, friends, parishioners, and members of the municipality, all happy to be together.

Fr. Ipoly, was so happy and welcomed everyone. In his sermon, he explained the meaning of a relic:

"Every human being has the desire to see God.... We now have a brother in heaven who can intercede for us in a very special way. Through our Catholic presence in this predominantly Protestant village, we can testify that together we can live in peace and joy.
Through the presence of the relic of Br Charles we receive strength for our community. We can be proud that this small village of Vasad, in this small country of Hungary, has received a relic of this new saint.
The desert is big and there's no echo in the desert. We are here on the outskirts of the "Great Hungarian Plain" and we too can proclaim the gospel in this place. May Vasad become an oasis for everyone. On this pilgrimage journey, Brother Charles will be our companion to learn to live the Gospel better and to keep our eyes always turned towards God.
Through perseverance in prayer with God and brotherly/sisterly friendship with the men and women of our time, let us allow Br Charles to make us simpler people and may Jesus enter into our hearts!”

As Cardinal Kasper said: "We must build our lives every day on the Gospel. If our whole Christian life with its sufferings, joys, and fears is not built on the Gospel, it will burst like a tire.... Through a life of Eucharist and adoration, may we come closer to the life of Nazareth, which Charles de Foucauld discovered in the Holy Land. For what we humans need in life is GOD.”

The relic was placed on the altar during Mass and the pastor then carried it to the small reliquary that he had so nicely prepared.

Vasad chapel interiorVasad chapel

After Mass, we all got together for a moment of friendship and joy and we returned to Budapest happy and thankful.
Yes, we're really grateful.
Now in Hungary we have a chapel dedicated to St. Charles de Foucauld.

See also the parish website: