Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

President Novak: St. Stephen ‘common denominator’ for Hungarians

Saint Stephen, Hungary's first king, is "a common denominator for all Hungarians", President Katalin Novak said in her address at a ceremony marking the August 20 national holiday.

Speaking in Esztergom, north of Budapest, the president said “St. Stephen has become an integral part of each of us; he is with us”.

Stephen I “laid the foundations for a Christian Hungary and made the country a part of the western world,” she said, adding that at the same time the sainted king “inevitable earned a place in our life, too”.

On August 20, Hungarians pay tribute to Saint Stephen “for his courage, faith, wisdom, and humbleness … he is inside, while he is above us, he is behind, while he is in front of us,” Novak said. She said August 20 was “neither a dusty tradition nor a modern-time party but a holiday … reminding us of our past and giving us renewed hope for the future each year.” On this day we “forget about the negligible and focus on what is really important,” she said.

Concerning hardships of the present, Novak said she could “see the economic figures and that prices in Hungary are unquestionably high”. “I know that years of relative abundance are now followed by a more difficult period,” she said. However, she added that “it creates a better spirit if we see where we are going, if we know that the worst part is over, and there are prospects of a better tomorrow”. She thanked Hungarians for “looking forward, working through hard times with the usual perseverance and creativity … having faith in a Hungarian life, setting an example to the young generations, and being able to support and assist the needy.”

The president noted St. Stephen’s instructions to his son, and called for the values of humbleness, tolerance, mercy, moderation, honesty, and love. “If we make decisions based on those values … our descendants will be proud of us; there is no room for compromise … if we live by those values harder times will not break us,” she added.

Leave a Reply