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The Shrine of Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted was established in Youngstown, Ohio by Hungarian Franciscans who fled their homeland shortly after World War II. The shrine is a replica of the original shrine in Transylvania, Hungary, which was closed by the Communist regime.



A half-century ago, a handful of Hungarian Franciscans who had fled Communist rule came to a wooded plot here to start a monastery and shrine to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted. With the help of the local Hungarian community, the Franciscans, who had helped operate a Marian sanctuary in Csiksomlyo, Transylvania, Romania (formerly part of Hungary), transformed the farm plot into a place of prayer and pilgrimage. 

The church, built with Italian marble, includes a statue of Our Lady of Csiksomlyo, which was placed above the altar. In addition, a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was donated by the bishop of Fatima, Portugal.

The outdoor shrine includes a large statue of St. Stephen, 11th century king of Hungary, which was part of the Hungarian pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair.

There is also a monument to the freedom fighters of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, which was crushed after only 12 days by the troops of the former Soviet Union.

The Iron Curtain Stations of the Cross on the property, created in the 1960s by Akron artist Joseph Vody, depicts Christ’s suffering while drawing parallels with the suffering of the Church and people in Hungary under Communism.


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