St. Stephen Day Celebration
Respct and honor for St. Stephen, founder of a nation based on christianity, still lives in the hearts of Hungarians worldwide.
This past Sunday St. Emeric Church was filled with those celebrating Mass and honoring Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen (István), whose shining example and apostolic work is a beacon of light to not only Hungarians, but to all Christians today.
Members of the Hungarian Scout Folk Ensemble, dressed in the beautiful folk costume of Kalocsa, participated in the Mass celebration adding to the festive spirit of the day dedicated to St. Stephen.
Lajos Mezősi, master baker born in Tusnad (Transylvania), presented the parishioners with a huge freshly baked loaf of bread which carried with it a symbolic message. As Jesus presents us with the bread of life, so too we are called to pass on this gift. We also give thanks at this time for the new wheat crop from which bread is made. Everyone received a small piece of this bread, followed by a social get together and buffet of delicacies in the hall downstairs. It is customary for Hungarian speaking communities here far from Hungary to have after Mass a humble agapé, where the emphasis is not so much on the foods but on the friendly communal gathering of the faithful. The spirit of community works very well in our parish, thanks to the many dedicated volunteers who work hard so that we may live our christian faith and preserve our Hungarian heritage.
The spirit of community works very well in our parish, thanks to the many dedicated volunteers who work hard so that we may live our christian faith and preserve our Hungarian heritage.
A beautiful event of this day in our church was administration of the sacrament of Baptism which envisions for us the promise of our future in the spirit of the heritage of St. Stephen. It was heartwarming to see members of the Scout Folk Ensemble bring the replica of the Holy Crown in procession and place it at the foot of the altar. It is difficult to find words that express how I felt when I heard the whole congregation singing the Hungarian and Székely anthems in unison, asking for God’s blessing and guidance. The essence of my homily was that we must stay committed to our faith, we cannot be just lukewarm Christians. Let us take example from St. Stephen who, more than thousand years ago, brought the Christian faith to the Hungarian people and worked diligently to establish it. Let us live the teachings of our Catholic faith and work to maintain our beautiful Christian Hungarian heritage.
St. Stephen! Faithful servant of God, intercede for us.
Rev. András Mezei
This post is also available in: Hungarian