Pentecost – Sunday is the second day of the Catholic Pentecost pilgrimage in Şumuleu Ciuc, in central Romania. It is the first time in the last two years that this event, considered to be the largest of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, has taken place without the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. On Saturday, a large number of Catholic believers prayed for peace and wellbeing. This year's motto of the pilgrimage is 'Peace and well-being', which is also the motto of the Franciscan Order. The pilgrimage from Şumuleu Ciuc has a history of over 450 years, being based on the miracle-working statue of the Virgin Mary, located in the Franciscan church. In 1567, the prince of Transylvania, Ioan Sigismund, tried to impose the Unitarian religion on the Roman Catholic believers in the Szekler regions of Ciuc, Gheorgheni and Caşin and people say that only with the help of the miracle-working statue did they manage to oppose and keep their ancestral faith. The Marian shrine from Şumuleu Ciuc was visited, on June 1, 2019, by Pope Francis, on this occasion the miracle-working statue of the Virgin Mary being removed from the church, for the first time after the Second World War. The Sovereign Pontiff then held a service dedicated to the Virgin Mary and offered a golden rose to the Marian shrine, as he always does when he goes to the places of pilgrimage dedicated to the Mother of God.
Environment – World Environment Day is marked on Sunday. The day is celebrated every year on June 5. This year, the theme chosen by the United Nations is "We only have one Earth" and emphasizes the need to bring people and nature back to the balance lost in recent decades. In Romania, several actions are taking place to draw attention to the urgent problems of the planet, such as climate change, biodiversity, pollution and waste. Pupils, students, teachers, along with professionals in the field of environmental protection and representatives of civil society are involved in these campaigns. This year marks 50 years since the UN General Assembly established Environment Day to make people more aware and responsible for the environment and its condition.
Bookfest – The Bookfest International Book Fair organized in Bucharest, the largest event of its kind in Romania, closes its doors on Sunday. The guest of honor at the 15th edition of the fair was Japan. During the five days of the book fair, over 500 events were scheduled, 50 of which were dedicated to children and adolescents. A series of debates on the Russian-Ukrainian war, education and children's health were also scheduled for this year.
Ukraine –Explosions were heard this morning in Kyiv, but no data are yet available. The capital of Ukraine has been the target of numerous Russian bombings since the outbreak of the war, but has recently been spared any attacks. The most intense fighting is taking place in the east of the country and, especially, in the city of Severodonetsk, where the Ukrainian forces have managed to regain some of the lost ground. A few days ago, the Russians were already in control of 70% of the city, and there were discussions about a withdrawal of the Ukrainian forces, but in the meantime they have launched a counter-offensive. The Severodonetsk counter-offensive is not the first success of the Ukrainian forces, which in the past managed to force the Russians to withdraw from the area of Kyiv and Kharkiv, the second most important Ukrainian city. The Ukrainian defense minister was optimistic about the outcome of the war and said he hoped the war would end this year. On the other hand, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba criticized the French President Emmanuel Macron for saying that a solution must be found so that Russia should not be humiliated in this war.
Football - The Romanian national football team had a bad start in the new edition of the League of Nations, being defeated by the national team of Montenegro with the score of 2-0, on Saturday evening, on Gradski Stadium in Podgorica, in Group 3 of League B. In the other match of the group, Finland drew 1 all in Helsinki with Bosnia. Romania will play the next match on June 7, in Zenica, with Bosnia-Herzegovina, also in the League of Nations. (LS)