With a simple language like that of Jesus who used common terms that anyone could understand, to explain his kingdom, Sándor began his account of how he tried to incarnate the Gospel in everything he did. A group of farmers was formed around him that met regularly to their each other’s joys, pains and progress… They felt they had a mission. Their relationship with nature, such a source of wisdom, was a gift they could share with people living in the city. This simple little spark led to meeting with city mayors.
From the meetings between mayors and farmers the need arose for creating an alternative to the globalization that sanctions and extinguishes so many traditions and values. In September 2016, they held a meeting which included experiences and presentations by specialists, with the goal of finding a way to give a soul to the area, beginning from the countryside. Some 350 people took part in the gathering, including 20 mayors. The 2cnd meeting was held last September in the Hungarian Municipality of Újkígyós, in the South East of the country where, despite the freezing weather, 500 people attended. 27 stands were set up to sell cheese, handmade rugs, honey, small furniture and marmalade… With gratuitousness and much generosity the farmers from many communes, boroughs and villages, offered the best of their culinary and artisan products. They also brought horses and gave rides to the children. It was a real feast for the population.
The conference speakers included specialists in the fields of ecology, agriculture, noise pollution, farming, as well as researchers and university faculty who were all joined in strong and genuine friendship. This was not only the secret to the success of the project, but also the realizable path for making a contribution towards authentic fraternity. Even the local Mayor, who brought folkloristic groups, confided that he was seeing a “new soul” in the community. The parish priest underscored the efficacy of evangelizing in this way, which he experienced there.
One of the organisers told me: “We didn’t have any political or institutional support: it was all a gift. The whole event didn’t cost a single penny: from the chairs, to the tents, to the tables. Here, as you can see, we’re all like brothers and sisters, because out in the villages, human relationships are the winning force.
There is another kind of relationship between people in the city. They form circles, common interest groups, entertainment spots…but the people are isolated. They don’t know the people in their own condominium building. The farmers, because of their contact with nature, nurture a religious soul that knows the value and the cost of everything around them, and they acknowledge the sacredness of every human being, which is what Pope Francis continually calls us to do. This meeting seems like a small step, not only for the Church itself, but also for the society.” Franciscan Friar, Csaba Böjte, OFM, from Transylvania, Romania, also spoke at the event. He is famous beyond his homeland in Hungary and Eastern Europe where he and his volunteers provide a home for 1992 children and teenagers in difficult family problems. Currently there are 82 homes, and they welcome 2500 children.
Sándor’s work is a pebble dropped into the ocean, but the circle is widening.