St. Stephen, King, Confessor–W (III)
Wednesday, September 2
As late as the tenth century the Magyar tribesmen of eastern Europe were still strangers to Christianity. King Stephen (997-1038) summoned missioners from France and Germany to preach the Faith to his subjects, and he himself accompanied the foreign priests on their apostolic journeys. The royal apostle promoted the growth of the Church in his realm so tirelessly that even during his lifetime Hungary developed from a rough mission land into a Christian kingdom. The Holy Father established a Hungarian hierarchy and conferred upon Stephen the title of Apostolic King. Having dedicated his country to Mary, “the Great Lady,” King Stephen died in 1038 on the feast of her Assumption.