(Vatican Radio) On Tuesday, Pope Francis sent a message to the president János Áder
of Hungary to mark the feast of the nation’s founder and first king, Saint Stephan,
which is celebrated each year on August 20.
“On the occasion of Hungary’s national feast day,” the Holy Father writes, “it is my pleasure to cordially address to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens. I ask God that the Hungarian people might find within themselves, and their human and spiritual heritage, the moral resources necessary in order to build a future of peace and fraternity. Upon Your Excellency, on all your nation’s leaders, and upon the whole Hungarian people, I invoke an abundance of Divine blessings.”
Some of the highlights of the yearly festivities include the celebration of Solemn Mass in the Basilica of Saint Stephen in the capital city of Budapest, and the procession of the saint’s right hand, otherwise known as the “Holy Right.”.
Saint Stephen founded Hungary nearly 1,000 years ago, and worked to convert the nation to Christianity. He was canonized in 1083 by Pope Gregory VII.
Listen to Ann Schneible’s report: