Magnus in Hungary with Agota Andrea Antol

From Međugorje to Hungary

Devoted Međugorje Pilgrims Establish Mary's Meals Hungary

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Inspired by their first encounter with Mary's Meals at Mladifest 2023, a remarkable journey began for the Hungarian pilgrim couple, leading them to initiate Mary's Meals in Hungary.

Antal Kiss, a communications specialist, and Ágota Hettyey, an English and German teacher, have been married for more than 25 years. In 2023, they travelled to Međugorje to attend Mladifest with their 19-year-old twins – a special gift to celebrate the youngsters completing their end of secondary school exam. There, they heard about the work of Mary’s Meals and the growing support for the charity across many European countries. However, they also found out that there was no official Mary’s Meals presence in Hungary and felt very strongly that this should change.

A visit to the blue container and a chance meeting with Mary’s Meals’ founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow offered fertile ground for the seed of an idea at the centre of this inspiring story. Pilgrims Antal and Ágota were so moved by the work of the charity and so sure that others in Hungary would feel the same, they quickly set to work planning how to spread the word about Mary’s Meals and encourage others in their country to become part of this global movement.

Agota and Antal with Magnus in Međugorje

Once home, with help from our long-term Hungarian supporter Andrea Sarnyai and local priest Father Gergő Bese – and united by a shared commitment to making a difference – they immersed themselves in the work of bringing Mary's Meals to their homeland. They began with robust plans to translate and publish a Hungarian version of our founder’s bestselling book ‘The Shed That Fed 2 Million Children’, which tells the amazing story of Mary’s Meals from Magnus’ first visit to Međugorje in 1983 to the incredible milestone of providing more than 2 million children with daily meals every school day. 

Hungarian Book

Mary’s Meals Hungary was officially established last month and, with much hard work and dedication from the team, has already hosted its first major event – a book launch with around 150 attendees. Before the event, Bishop Mohos Gabor of Budapest celebrated Mass.

The book event was attended by many young people from in and around Budapest and the main part of the evening was a conversation between Antal and Magnus about Mary’s Meals, which allowed them to share information about the mission in a relaxed way. A short film with Hungarian subtitles was also shown to give an overview of our vision and work. Many of those attending were inspired to sign up as volunteers and more than 100 people went home with a copy of the book. Magnus’ time in Budapest concluded with a visit to a local prayer meeting and a chance to pray the Rosary, underscoring the vital role of prayer in Mary’s Meals’ mission.

Hosting this first Mary’s Meals Hungary event was a significant moment and Ágota Hettyey expressed her joy at welcoming Magnus, emphasising the impact of God’s grace and love.

priests Gergő Péter Bese and Marton Arnold in Međugorje

As we witness this new Mary's Meals National Affiliate establishing roots in Hungary, we celebrate the profound connection that began in Međugorje, and the dedication of passionate volunteers turning a moment of inspiration into meaningful action. The journey has just begun, but we are looking forward to working with Mary's Meals Hungary and taking steps towards a brighter future as we work towards our vision. We know that the work they are doing will bear fruit in the lives of many people and the children that we serve.

Please contact us if you want to do something for Mary’s Meals.