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Saint Stephen, a Democratic system changer

Saint Stephen, a Democratic system changer

Photo: MTI / Péter Komka

Stained-glass window depicting Saint Stephen in the Assumption Basilica on June 6, 2020. Mátraverebély-Szentkút Shrine has been declared a national landmark

To clear it up a bit, there are two images of the first monarch consecrated into the public consciousness. According to the Western view, he was the ruler who prepared the Hungarians with a bloodthirsty, barbaric, pagan and semi-animal tribal organization. According to another distinct interpretation, Saint Stephen tore the Hungarians from their ancient culture, forcibly converted them into the Christian faith, and attacked their people with foreign weapons.

Needless to say, both concepts are wrong. Ancient records, especially Greek sources, as well as monuments excavated by archeology confirm that the Magyars of the period called the time of the conquest had a high level of culture and civilization: modern knowledge of animal husbandry and crop production, strategic victory, he had the art of gastronomy. Sophisticated, not least is his superb medical knowledge.

Hungarian Christians in Irbid

In addition, the Magyars declared in the lords of monotheism, a large part of them were Christians, while there were also followers of other religions with a spirit of religious patience, which is unusual in other cultures of the era.

The spread of Christianity is evidenced by the hundreds of busts found in the graves of Hungarian men during the conquest, but this symbol also appears on the well-known Tiszabezdéd tarso painting. Moreover, in the excavated Avar tomb in Kumarom, archaeologists found a disturbance embracing a cross with one foot.

Emre Haranguzu drew attention to all of this. In his 2017 presentation at the National Hungarian Youth Political Camp in Transylvania in Gorgeny, a well-educated ethnographer demonstrated the profound relationship between our ancestors and Christianity in a case recorded in ancient Greek history. It so happened that Bishop Method, who converted the Slavs to the Christian faith, was captured by the Magyars in the Danube around the year 881. The soldiers took the bishop to Arpad. The prince of the Hungarians – according to Greek history – had a long conversation with him about the nature of the altar secret. It follows that Arbad was aware of this matter in detail, that is, he had a deep theological knowledge. The same facts also state that the Hungarian lords asked METOD to place the sacrament of the altar in front of them so that they could worship it.

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Numerous studies by art historian Catalin David, dealing with early Christian iconography, also demonstrate this in Western Transdanubia on the ninth. In the sixteenth century, the names of pastors of Christian churches, which were kept according to the register of the diocese of Salzburg, after the expansion of the settlements of “pagan” and “pre-Christian” Magyars remained to that extent. Area. Century, so it appeared 200 years later in the annals under the same name. That is, it can be shown that the so-called conquest did not affect the Christian practice of faith, nor was its continuity affected.

From all this, it becomes clear that the Hungarians of Arpad were, at least to a large extent, Christians, according to their unique Hungarian cultural heritage – the cult of the Virgin of Hungarian origin.

It follows from the foregoing that Saint Stephen was unable to convert Hungarian Christians to the Christian faith, nor could he abolish the old system, as he himself referred to it in his book which he wrote to a tree, Prince Saint Emery: “… it would be difficult to preserve your kingdom in this landscape if you did not imitate the habit of previously ruling kings.”Writes. It is noteworthy that it is related to the plural form of previously ruling kings. This proves that Saint Stephen did not consider himself the first king of Hungary!

Unit with fire and iron

Consequently, his historical work and the conflict that came with it was not conceived of a religious, not even a cultural motive, in the face of misinterpretations in the public sphere. Let us add that Kobane did not defend the “ancient faith” either, because he himself – as the documents also record – had been baptized as a Roman Catholic in the parish territory of Salzburg. A fundamental historical error, then, is the phrase “Stephen’s Byzantium” that King Istvan’s rock opera gave, the rock opera. On the contrary, in fact, Saint Stephen’s father, Prince of Giza, was a Byzantine Christian, as was his mother, Princess Sarault, and grandfather, Prince Giula, Prince of Transylvania.

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At that time, the European political situation became increasingly tense. The relationship between Byzantium and Rome became more hostile, and the Eastern Roman Empire began to erode. Prince Geza, as a wise leader, realized that the Byzantine orientation was in danger of collapsing in the long run, so he began to approach Rome. Remember, King Attila has already bowed his head at the gates of Rome. He did not give up, but rather recognized papal authority with dignity, aware of his power.

Saint Stephen fulfilled his father’s policy, and he also felt that the growing tension foreshadowed the division that occurred in 1054. Our First Holy King knew that this great rift could tear the Hungarian nation to pieces. If only because at that time the state’s lands were ruled by some princes and bishops, who independently participated in some Western campaigns, ignoring the highest foreign policy interests of the country. Development began, and this could have been fatal to the united Hungarian nation. So Saint Stephen decided to dismantle the power and centralize the Hungarian state. It was a bloody and dramatic struggle, with great sacrifices, but in the end a reorganized, strong and united Hungarian state emerged, headed by the Apostolic Hungarian King, who also had the right to invest, and who appointed the bishops independently of the Pope.

Thus, our king Saint Stephen did not establish a state, because according to the generally accepted and internationally accepted definition we call the state, the power of the state, the main force capable of enforcing the institutional and political interests of a particular region and its inhabitants. It is quite evident that these terms and conditions actually existed before Saint Stephen. Thus, our first sacred king was not a founder, but an all-encompassing organizer, possibly of the re-establishment of the Hungarian state.

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Greatness of St. Ladislaus

All this of course does not detract from the significance of his historical works, born from a Polish mother, and which were accomplished in their own right by King St. Ladislaus, who also symbolized the Polish-Hungarian brotherhood. If the Byzantine orientation and the young kings who ruled the large lands represent the thesis, then Saint Stephen is the antithesis and Saint Ladislaus is the synthesis. His reign healed the surgeon and united the nation. In 1083 it was consecrated (not enacted, but inaugurated!) Istvan, his son, Prince Emery, Bishop Gillert, and two hermits from Zubur, Andrew and Benedict. By this he testified to the greatness of man and the responsibility of statesmen, as Saint Stephen blinded his grandfather, Vasolt, and poured bullets in his ear, so that he would take revenge. Instead, realizing the nation’s interest, he made the change irreversible. At the same time, he appointed a man named Kobane as head of the Kobani estate in Somogyvar, as evidenced by testimony. We don’t know more about Koppány, but the gesture speaks for itself.

Thus the uniquely successful historical works of Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus prevented the destruction of our nation and our people and laid the foundations for Hungary for the next thousand years.

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