48-hour reading marathon for the sainthood of the first Hungarian queen

On ordinary Saturday nights, like on any other day of the week, churches are closed.
This weekend, the Blessed Gisela Roman Catholic Church from the city of Arad (western Romania) made an exception as part of a two days long reading marathon.
The community of the parish formed mostly of Hungarians decided to celebrate the feast of Blessed Gisela, the first queen consort of Hungary by an unprecedented event in order to gain sainthood for her.
Coming from German ancestors, Gisela was born in 985 and married Stephen, Hungary’s first king and the founder of the Christian state. The queen contributed to the Christianization of the Hungarian people and supported churches by sending gifts like clothes and ornaments.
After the death of her husband, she was forced to leave Hungary and joined the Niederburg convent in Passau (Germany), later becoming the abbess.
While King Stephen was canonized after his death, in 1038, Gisela hold the title of “blessed” since 1975, as her canonization attempt had failed in the 18th century.
The little church from Arad was built 156 years ago and is one of the oldest from Transylvania dedicated to Gisela.
The reading marathon started Friday, 9 May at noon and ended two days later, followed by a festive Mass.
As a result of more than a month-long organizing work by parish priest Sándor Tivadar and his aides, the city embraced the initiative and almost 200 volunteers read from the book called “The Queen” written about the life of Blessed Gisela by Faltin Erzsébet, the mayor of a Hungarian city situated about 50 kilometers distance from Arad.
The whole reading was recorded and the parish community hopes will help reopening the canonization process of the first Hungarian queen.