To enter a renewed path in the light of Christ, to defend human life and family, to shape social justice according to the Gospel, true freedom in everyday life and to set an authentic example of life according to the Gospel, Christian virtues, an example of spiritual development in Hungary, Poland and all of Europe – said Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki during the celebrations held in Budapest in honour of St. Stephen, Patron Saint of Hungary, on the occasion of the national feast.
Cardinal Péter Erdő, Primate of Hungary said in his welcome speech, “Divine providence works behind the external events of our individual life and the fate of nations. If we recognize his plan and cooperate with him, our life will be blessed and filled with values. Therefore, on the day of Saint Stephen we celebrate our gratefulness and trust, but we also ask God to preserve and aid our nation in the present and in the future.”
The President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference delivered a homily on “Christianity yesterday and today”.
Archbishop Gądecki also pointed out the need for saint politicians like St. Stephen, who would be able to inject a Christian spirit not only into the customs and awareness of people, but also into the laws and structures of the secular community through bold projects and initiatives in the secularized world.
“Let us ask God that we – in a world that tries to blur the difference between soul and body, between the spiritual and the material, between the human and the animal, between woman and man, between transcendence and immanence, in a world where consumption has become a religion – that we would pursue in such a world – following the example of St. Stephen – to achieve lasting happiness in the Holy Spirit”, said the President of the Polish Episcopate.
Celebration in honour of St. Stephen was held in Budapest with the participation of the president of Hungary, János Áder and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the highest state authorities of Hungary, the Episcopate and the heads and representatives of other Christian Churches.
Our holy king died at the age of 70 after a reign of 42 years on 15 August 1038, on the day of the Assumption of Mary. Before he died, he offered the country to the Holy Virgin, and thus Mary became the Patron of Hungary. On 20 August 1083, Saint Ladislaus had Stephen, his son, Prince Emeric and his tutor, Bishop Gerard raised to the altar with papal permission in the presence of Hungarian bishops, abbots and nobles. Since then, we celebrate Saint Stephen on 20 August.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference/ Press Office of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference