Franciscan Monastery – Lăzarea(Gyergyószárhegy)
The Franciscan monastery and church in Szárhegy were built on the southern side of Szármány Hill, where, according to tradition and according to the writer József György of the Franciscan Order of Transylvania, five chapels in cross shape, surrounded by strong defensive walls were built by one of the ancestors of Count Lazăr, based on a dream.
From 1665 to 1669, the chief of the monastery was István P. Taploczai. The rudimentary building of the monastery was built during his time, transforming the largest of the five chapels, the Chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, into a monastery chapel. The construction of the current part of the monastery and the tower of the church from stone was started by Ferenc P. Kálmándi in 1690, the western side of the monastery was built by Dániel P. Veress in 1712.
From 1951 until the change of regime, the state authorities used the monastery building for various agricultural purposes. From 1974, the monastery was used by the Harghita County Artists' Camp for 25 years on a contractual basis.
P. Papp Astrik worked here for a short time in the 1960s. From August 1978, István Kálmán P. Kádár took over the constitutional headquarters (as much as he could, as he could only use two rooms) and led it until 1997. He was followed by Father Béla Ervin P. Ferencz, who until 2013 was a careful guardian of the monastery. Nowadays Fr. Laczkó-Dávid Anaklét performs the same task.
The children's home of the St. Francis of Deva Foundation is located in the courtyard of the monastery. Today, the monastery and church are thus cared for by Franciscan monks. The monastery and its surroundings offer a good, suitable place and opportunity for a quiet retreat, for spiritual practice, either individually or in groups.
From 1700 to the present, 44 Franciscans have left the village. 53 Franciscan monks rest in the crypt of the church of the monastery and in the land of the church, including such famous personalities as János Kájoni, Mansvét Lukács, Anaklét Gurzó or Ervin Ferencz. The church of the monastery is also a place of pilgrimage, a religious church, especially during the nine Tuesday devotions, and the Kis Somlyó pilgrimage is held here every Pentecost Tuesday.