Antal Marton, now known by his religious name as Fr Bernard, escaped from Hungary in 1956, when he was only 15 years old, to join his brother, Fr. Henry of the Cistercian Order in Dallas. Some years after, Antal also chose to join the community and become a priest. 56 years later, Fr Bernard introduced his second book, called “Retrospections” on the 3rd of November of 2018 at the Cistercian Saint Emery High School in Budapest, Hungary.
Not to be confused with All Saints Day—a holy day of obligation honoring the lives and works of saints already in heaven—All Souls Day is dedicated to remembering all who have died, particularly, the souls in purgatory. Recognized on November 2, All Souls Day is not a holy day of obligation, however, in Catholic tradition priests are able to celebrate extra Masses that day for the deceased, usually three in the day.
Halloween is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the feast of All Halllow’s Day. According to some Christians, this is the feast of the Devil and the bad, and people who believe in God should not celebrate this evening. Is it really the feast of the Devil, or can we, Christians commemorate this night?
Saint Gerard was not born in Hungary, but fate connected his life to the Central European country. He was born in Venice in an island surrounded by marshes. He was five years old when he got severely sick, so he was moved to the island of San Giogro to be cured by the local monks. The family made a vow that if George– that was his name of birth – was healed by the prayers, the family would dedicate their life to the servitude of God.
A new study released by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that praticipation in spiritual practices during childhood can lead to better health and well-being during early adulthood. Researchers found that those who attended religious services or prayed daily throughout their upbringing reported greater positivity and more satisfaction in their lives in their 20s.
As North Korea prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary this weekend with a military parade and “Mass Games”, its population lives in perpetual war (the 1953 Korean war has never officially ended), under government surveillance and with a propaganda machine controlled by the national leader’s personality cult. It actually is not unlike George Orwell’s classic book 1984, John Choi* comments, a Christian human rights advocate who escaped from North Korea and now lives in the UK.
The visit of the Holy Father to Ireland on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families was a welcome one. The four-day congress that began last Wednesday in Dublin was positive, the Saturday night Festival of Families in Croke Park was uplifting and the final Mass, held at the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park was as poignant as it was powerful. The problem however of a Church plagued with past clerical sex abuse scandals unfortunately overshadowed the entire visit.
The 20th of August might well be the most important national holiday for Hungarians. This day commemorates the foundation of the Christian state that took place in 1,000 AD when Saint Stephen is celebrated— the first Hungarian king. Chronologically, the founding of the State is the next significant milestone which occurred after the land conquest in the Carpathian basin around 896 AD.