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Budapest, Hungary: The Basilica of St. Stephen

About Saint Stephen of Hungary:

Born in 975 AD, Stephen was a pagan in the Magyars (as the Hungarians were called). His father converted to Christianity and both Stephen and his father were baptized when he was 20 years old.

When he succeeded his father, Stephen adopted a policy of Christianising the country not only for religious reasons but political as well).  He suppressed a series of revolts by pagan nobles and welded the Magyars into a strong national group. He asked the pope to provide for the Church’s organization in Hungary—and also requested that the pope confer the title of king upon him. He was crowned on Christmas day in 1001.

Stephen established a system of tithes to support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor. Out of every 10 towns one had to build a church and support a priest. He abolished many pagan customs that involved violence, and commanded all to marry, except clergy and religious. He was easily accessible to all, especially the poor.

In 1031, his son Emeric died, and for the rest of his reign there were controversies over who would succeed Stephen upon his death.  His nephews even attempted to kill him. He died in 1038 and was canonized, along with his son, in 1038.

We celebrate the Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary on August 16.


About the Basilica of Saint Stephen:

It is in Budapest that you will find the Basilica of Saint Stephen. It’s most revered object is the hand of Saint Stephen, kept in a reliquary in a side chapel. Millions of Hungarians still revere Saint Stephen for his devotion to the poor and helpless among his subjects.


Finding the Basilica of St. Stephen in Budapest:

Address: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051

GPS coordinates: 47° 30′ 3.2040” N, 19° 3′ 14.3604” E

Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Saint Stephen in Budapest

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