We live in a celestial bond - "Since the offering of St Stephen, our country is the Kingdom of Mary, Regnum Marianum"
Balázs Ágoston's interview with Miklós Makoldi, director of the Research Centre for Archaeology of the Institute of Hungarian Research, about the importance of saving our Árpád-era churches and the sacral mission of the Regnum Marianum was published in the Magyar Demokrata weekly.
"Even before the widespread embrace of Western Christianity, the Hungarian people may have had their own cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When Saint Stephen offered the Holy Crown as a legal person to the Virgin Mary, our great monarch created a unique legal construct. He created a bond between the heavenly and the earthly powers, and at the same time strengthened the commitment of the Hungarian people to Western Christianity, further building the cult of the Blessed Virgin, or Babba Maria as she is called in Transylvania. In recognition of this, the Pope named St Stephen an apostolic king, a title inherited by all the Árpád monarchs, Miklós Makoldi, director of the Archaeological Research Centre of the Institute of Hungarian Research, told Demokrata. He also spoke about the importance of saving our Árpád-era churches.
- We are talking in the middle of a sunflower plantation near Fót. What mission is the Institute of Hungarian Research fulfilling here?
- In Fót-Sikátorpuszta, known as the Rossztemplom-dűlő in the 19th century, we are conducting a special excavation, exploring the remains of the church once dedicated to St. Martin. Based on its identifiable architectural features, it was probably founded in the late Árpád period, sometime after the Tatar invasion. From the masonry, it appears to have been built in two periods, before the Tatar period, in the late 1100s, and rebuilt in the early Gothic style after the Tatar invasion. Under the walls of the Gothic octagonal sanctuary from the end of the 13th century, we have found the demolished, rebuilt but once upright sanctuary of the earlier church. We have also found a higher and a lower floor level. On the latter is a Gothic keystone carved in riolite tuff, the ribs of which are not yet grooved. Although the location of the fragmented find is surprising, it is possible that it was disturbed when a World War II artillery emplacement was established here; we have found evidence of 20th century artefacts nearby. Surprisingly, no altar base was found, with two possible reasons: either treasure hunters digging here in the 2010s unearthed the remains, or the church had a wooden altar which had decayed over the centuries. However, we did uncover a foundation of lime mortar in the nave, probably where the baptismal font once stood. Plastered wall remains were also recovered.
- How long did the church stand?
- We do not know the exact date of its consecration or its destruction. A source from the 14th century mentions the settlement of Sikátor, which was once located here, so it was already standing at that time at the latest, but as I mentioned, the architectural features suggest that it was founded before the Tartar invasion, in the Árpád period. The excavation has revealed fragments of 17th century pottery, which suggests, but does not prove, that it was destroyed by the Turks. The excavation, which began on 1 August, aims to save the ruin, preserve it and make it suitable for sacral use. This requires architectural planning and a monument conservation permit. Our intention is to raise the walls with two or three rows of protective columns and to cover the interior of the church with brick pavement at the original level. We hope to complete the works by St Martin's Day, 11 November, and return the church to its original sacred purpose for the Church. Perhaps we will even have the opportunity for a major reconstruction work next year. The whole excavation started when the citizens of Fót, together with the parish priest Sándor Sebők and with the support of the local government, asked the Institute of Hungarian Research to save the ruined church in danger of collapse. Although our institute focuses on royal or noble residences and castles, the strength and determination of the community of Fót motivated us not to let the former church, which is in its twenty-fourth hour, go to waste, and thus to contribute to strengthening local identity and Christian commitment.
- Why was the former St Martin's Church at risk?
- The ever-expanding industrial park in the area, which is squeezed by the M2, M0 and M3 motorways, could easily have become so large that a new building would have buried the remains. It is important to the people of Fót that this should not happen, and the parish priest came here four times a year to say mass. There may be thousands of similar ruined churches all over the country; not far from here, there is a known ruin in Dunakeszi-Alagimajor, and two in Fót. This suggests that there was once a much more dense settlement structure here than today, as every self-respecting village built a church. We would like to link them with a pilgrimage route.
- Saint Martin was born in the 4th century in Savaria, which once existed on the territory of today's Szombathely, and Pope Francis, to our surprise, called the Hungarians the people of St Martin. We are also the people of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a result of St. Stephen's offering. What makes this intimate relationship so special?
- What makes it unique is that the Hungarians may have had a specific cult of the Blessed Virgin even before the mass adoption of Western Christianity. St Stephen subjected the whole of Hungary, with all its territory, all its movable and immovable property and its people, to the Holy Crown. And when he offered the Holy Crown, this legal person, to the Virgin Mary, our great monarch created a unique legal construct, a bond between the heavenly and the earthly powers, and at the same time confirmed the commitment of the Hungarian people to Western Christianity, building on the cult of the Blessed Virgin, or as she is called in Transylvania, Babba Maria. It is interesting to note that we find no information in the Bible about Mary's origin or family. In any case, many churches are still dedicated to her. I note that the Hungarians may have known Christianity since the 5th century, as many finds of Hungarian character have recently been discovered around Christian churches in the foothills of the Northern Caucasus. Contact can thus be proven, and it therefore follows that there were also Christians among the Hungarians who were called conquerors, and even among the so-called Avars living in the Carpathian Basin.
- So what could have been the purpose of St Stephen?
- St Stephen's two main missions were the centralisation of the state and the separation of Hungarian Christianity from the German-Roman Empire. He did this brilliantly by offering the Holy Crown to the Virgin Mary, and the Pope recognised and even uniquely named Stephen as Apostolic King, a title inherited by all the monarchs from the Árpád dynasty. This meant that the King of Hungary could appoint bishops with papal approval, but he could also convene a church synod, as St. László did in 1092 in the earth fort of Szabolcs.
- Since the offering of St Stephen, our country has been the Kingdom of Mary, Regnum Marianum. What does this mean in terms of constitutional law?
- In fact, it corresponds to the Holy Crown doctrine, which assigns the ruler to the supremacy of the Holy Crown as the supreme legal person, and derives the societal relations from it, creating the Hungarian historical constitution, which has always been flexible, but has always retained its inner essence, and adapted to different ages, until the communists destroyed it in the spirit of the principle of the ultimate abolition of the past. Regnum Marianum is also a mission, and it is no coincidence that the House of Árpád, which ruled the most powerful state in Central Europe for four hundred years, gave more saints to Christianity than any other family. The House of Turul successfully mediated and maintained a balance between Byzantium and the German-Roman Empire, and through its dynastic relations in both directions, it was a successful peacekeeper of contemporary Europe, while at the same time successfully preventing any great power from subjugating Hungary. Only the Turks succeeded in doing this in the 16th century, when the worship of the Blessed Virgin weakened. But the heavenly patronage did not cease, and it is thanks to this that the Hungarian nation survived despite all the evil intentions."
The full interview is also available on the website of the weekly Magyar Demokrata.
Genetic identification of the remains of Saint László and Béla III yields fantastic results
Written by: MKI
Published: 31 August 2022
Gabriella Jeki's interview with Endre Neparáczki, Director of the Research Centre for Archaeogenetics of our Institute, about the identification of the remains of Hungarian rulers was published on the Origo.hu news site.
"Decades of controversy have finally come to an end: modern methods have been used to identify the remains of several rulers of the Árpád dynasty. Researchers from the University of Szeged have examined bone remains and obtained tangible results using DNA samples. In doing so, they have discovered solid starting points that can also be systematically incorporated into Hungarian historical research. The team of experts, who have also authored international publications on the subject, can also provide new information on the exact burial places and customs of St. László, Béla III, King Mátyás and Hungarian Royal Prince András, among others, as well as on the facial features of our deceased rulers. But what does the Székesfehérvár Ossuary hold? What role do Y-chromosomes play in the analyses? Why do scientists have to travel to Lepoglava in Croatia and Naples in Italy?"
The full interview is available on origo.hu.
Seeing ourselves in Attila - We are Hungarians, descendants of Scythians and Huns
Written by: MKI
Published: 25 August 2022
Ünnepélyes keretek közt került sor Attila hun király szobrának felavatására az Ópusztaszeri Nemzeti Történeti Emlékparkban. Árpád és nemesei gyűlésének jelképes helyén, egy nappal az államalapítás ünnepe előtt (...)
The inauguration of the statue of King Attila the Hun took place in the National Historical Park of Ópusztaszer. At the symbolic site of the meeting of Árpád and his nobles, one day before the celebration of the founding of the state, (...)
Prof. Dr Miklós Kásler emphasized in his heartfelt inaugural speech that our historical greats declared themselves the heirs of the nation-building ruler until the end of the 1850s. Our chronicles, legends, and Greek, Latin and Southern German historical sources all confirm the Scythian-Hun-Hungarian continuity. However, from the mid-19th century, under the influence of foreign oppression, this view was supplanted by another approach, that of the Finno-Ugric origin.
However, by applying the most modern scientific methods, we have the opportunity to reclaim our past, our history, our national pride and thus to re-extend our sovereignty in the economic, political and cultural spheres.
Mr. Minister stated that the sense of mission of Attila's descendants and respect for the ancestors are the values on which St. Stephen was able to build the apostolic kingdom, unique in Europe. The spirit that united Attila, Árpád and Saint Stephen ensured the supremacy of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin for many centuries.
The Institute of Hungarian Research, by identifying the Turul dynasty and establishing the origins of our King Sámuel Aba, enables us to return to our chronicle traditions and rediscover ourselves in our Hun ancestors.
"Hungary is an integral and recognised actor of the European cultural life in the historical perspective"
Written by: MKI
Published: 19 August 2022
"The Hungarian history of ideas, together with our Eastern heritage, is an integral part of the European Christian history of ideas. We can primarily mention the many Hungarian saints and blessed ones, from the House of Árpád to the present day.
Many of them were not only exemplary in their sanctity of life, but also influential in shaping European culture as great thinkers."
Balázs Ágoston's interview with Gyula Klima, Director of the Research Centre for the History of Ideas at the Institute of Hungarian Research, was published in the weekly Magyar Demokrata.
- Where can the Hungarian nation be placed in the history of European ideas? Who shaped Hungarian intellectual history the most?
- Our geographic location gives us the mission: to mediate between East and West, but also to play the not always grateful role of a bastion of defence for the West. It is almost a cliché, but it is a historical reality. The Hungarian history of ideas, together with our Eastern heritage, is an integral part of the European Christian history of ideas. From this point of view, we can primarily mention the many Hungarian saints and blessed ones, from the House of Árpád to the present day. Many of them were not only exemplary in their sanctity of life, but also influential in shaping European culture as outstanding thinkers, starting with St István, canonised by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
For example, Andreas Pannonius was a very important thinker, who had a close relationship with the Hunyadi family and produced a theological oeuvre of European significance. My colleague Csilla Bíró gave a brilliant lecture on him at the conference entitled Hungarian Christian thinkers from the Árpád era to the present day, which was recently organised by our Research Centre.
Andreas Pannonius: Libellus de regiis virtutibus. Source: corvina.hu
- What other topics were on the agenda?
- Among many other things, the contribution of Hungarian Catholicism to the mission of the universal Church was discussed, and the Autobiography of Miklós Bethlen, written towards the end of his life, during his imprisonment in Vienna, was also on the agenda, in which the renowned Transylvanian chancellor of the second half of the 17th century discusses very serious philosophical questions about the social behaviour of man, his use of social language and the underlying philosophical problems of the mind. The conference also covered the work of Miklós Vető, a Hungarian-born philosopher from France, professor at several prestigious foreign universities and honorary doctor of several Hungarian universities; the life's work of Antal Schütz, a Roman Catholic priest and Piarist monk, the best-known Hungarian theologian of the first half of the 20th century, secretary of the St Thomas Aquinas Society, and editor of the works of Ottokár Prohászka, Bishop of Székesfehérvár. At the conference, there was a lecture on the oeuvre of the sociologist Vid Mihelics, a prominent representative of the Christian social-Christian democratic movement in the first half of the 20th century, who published outstanding writings on social policy issues. He was also a member of parliament for the short-lived Democratic People's Party, editor of Vigília, Új Ember, Hazánk, and between 1934 and '40 of the Catholic Review. I dealt with Madách, and compared the philosophy of history of his main work, The Tragedy of Man, with that of Saint Augustine.
–- Is there a distinctively Hungarian philosophical worldview?
What is typical of Hungarian Christian thinkers is that - due to historical peculiarities - their historical-philosophical, political approach is more characteristic than their metaphysical, theological reflections. Our main mission is the systematic mapping of the history of ideas of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, the identification of the place and role of Hungarians in the history of European ideas and culture, with a view to the broadest international connections. We focus on the so-called major developments, i.e. the lasting, decisive philosophical, scientific, technical, religious, cultural, artistic nodes, reviewing the significant changes that ultimately brought about decisive transformations in our conceptual systems, social mentality and culture. Since our foundation in 2019, we have organised three scientific conferences, and the lectures of our first conference on the significance of the spirituality of Regnum Marianum will be published in an impressive volume towards the end of the year. As a follow-up to our conference on The Metaphysics and Theology of the Eucharist, held last year in Budapest in connection with the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, we founded the European Society for the History of Ideas with 26 members. This is a growing network of cooperation between Hungarian and international scholars dealing with the history of ideas in Europe and Hungary, with 75 members on all continents, including teachers and students from Harvard, the University of Oxford, the University of Notre Dame, among others. The society organises an annual conference, and last week we held our second meeting at the University of Lisbon. The results of the conferences are published by Springer, and we hope that the English-language volumes will also be published in Hungarian by the Institute of Hungarian Research."
Read the full interview on the website of the weekly Magyar Demokrata.