National Holiday is celebrated with a Catholic Mass in Washington DC

I wrote last year about the importance of August 20th, Hungary’s National Holiday which is celebrated by Hungarians all over the world. (Read here.)

August 20th is St. Stephen’s Day, when we remember Stephen I, the founder and first king of Hungary who ruled 1000-1038 and was canonized on August 20, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII. It has become an important Catholic holiday. But August 20th is not only a religious holiday. It is a harvest festival, the “Day of the New Bread,” and in the past it was also known as Constitution Day. For most Hungarians it is a secular National Day.

It seems that the Orbán government wants to change this and turn August 20th into a religious holiday. To my surprise the Hungarian Embassy celebrated the day by organizing a Catholic event in Washington DC.

Festivities started at 11AM with communal prayer in the Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. From there an eight-mile procession called, “Pilgrimage to the Basilica” led to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.

At 3:30PM there was an English-language “Hungary’s National Day” Holy Mass and a speech by Ambassador László Szabó. Afterwards a Hungarian Picnic closed out the day at the Hungarian Embassy.

Church and State business are separated in the United States and it is inappropriate for the Ambassador to greet Americans of Hungarian heritage on a Mass at the Catholic Basilica.

Ambassador Szabó

Don’t misunderstand me, August 20th is an important religious Holiday for Hungarians of the Catholic faith. And it is also true that the majority of Hungarians follow the Catholic faith. According to the 2011 census 39% of Hungarians were Catholics, 11.6% were Calvinists, 2.2% were Lutherans, around 2% followed other religions. Yet 16.7% were not religious, of which 1.5% were atheists. Other religions practiced in Hungary include Islam and Judaism.

Ambassador Szabó, who is a medical doctor without previous diplomatic experience, has to understand that he represents ALL Hungarians, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Hungarian Christians, Atheists, Muslims and Jews all celebrate August 20th.

Please don’t make this National Day a Catholic Holiday here in the United States. It excludes those who are not religious or do not follow Catholicism from celebrating this joyous Holiday.

György Lázár

21 Comments

  1. Is there perhaps a single subject that I would be permitted to comment upon, and you would not erase it ?

    What the hack is the matter in pointing out that Aug.20, was and is ,if they declared it legal holiday in Hungary ,the marking the adoption of a new religion by those ancient Hungarians, that was Roman Catholism, and not any other religion.

    Just what can be your objection to that?
    It’s the fact !

    • Robert Morrison says:

      No Bendeguz79, there is none.

      Welcome to the newest political lottery in town where you write a comment and later you may or may not see it published. I am the winner so far with 39 deleted and 17 holding.

      • You are 100% wrong! It is not a lottery, because you are in full control of the publication rate of your comments. All you have to do is become ideologically correct and your average will rise to 100%. That is not a lottery, just stop writing inconvenient comments. It is really your fault for not learning your lesson.

        • Robert Morrison says:

          I see your point but than it is pointless to communicate rather just give thumbs up and all is taken care of. I guess you like to do that whilst I do not as I have opinions that may differ from the opinion of the writer. And that is called COMMENT while your suggestion is called YES MAN.

          • I don’t think you did get my point. The real criticism ( read between the lines) was not of you.

            As for “Ideologically correct”, in the case of this publication, it means whatever points the articles are trying to make. For instance, just a few weeks back, Lazar Gyorgy picked up a common slogan from hard-core Romanian nationalist group “Noua Dreapta” namely: “A szekelyek nem magyarok”, and decided to give it credibility, even though in the last census about 99.99% of Szekely Hungarians chose to identify themselves as ethnic Hungarians, as opposed to Szekely, which was an option.

            https://mno.hu/hatarontul/a-szekelyek-nem-magyarok-tuntettek-a-szelsonacionalistak-1138066

            So, basically if you want to reach 100% publication record on forum, you need an attitude adjustment and get with the program of this site. A Szekelyek Nem Magyarok! is a good start! Also have to side with Ukrainian chauvinism, against ethnic Hungarians. Then you need to agree not only with such anti-Hungarian positions, but also with all positions against the current Hungarian government, mo matter how outrageously absurd. So there you go! You have control, it is not a lottery as you described it. A lottery would imply random, which this is not.

        • Robert Morrison says:

          And just on another note what is ideologically correct in your mind?

        • You are 100% wrong! Stupid comments do not belong here.

          From RoMo “… to oppose the mass importation [Migrants] of the thousand year sworn enemies of the Jewish People into Europe and especially into Hungary.” Migrants = sworn enemies

          And now he says „I start with a declaration: I am a free thinker non-religious person with tolerance for non-violent religious practices that respects the right of all to follow their individual conviction without intervention or intimidation.“ I = tolerant

          Who wants to read such a shit … reader = donkey, because of that.

  2. This ambassador is in reality an MD ?

    That tells something about the situation in Hungary.

    Just why would an MD want to leave his medical profession? Unless he lost his medical license for some professional error, or unethical act.

    I know, I know, this is not Hungary that I compare to,but that is just what I am applying.

    A doctor can make ten times more than a diplomat.

  3. Nicholas Molnar says:

    St.Stephan happened to be Catholic

  4. Robert Morrison says:

    I start with a declaration: I am a free thinker non-religious person with tolerance for non-violent religious practices that respects the right of all to follow their individual conviction without intervention or intimidation.

    Having said it I see ALL religions as expression of mystified oppression of the weak and for that I do not have any compassion for ANY clerics. I view them as the parasites of the free spirited human race. And in spite of this I have no objection against religious holydays or celebration of such as long as they do not infringe on my freedom of choice to be non-religious.

    And this is where I differ from Mr. Lázár. My tolerance goes all the way from Ramadan to Christmas and includes every fate that meet the above listed criteria.

    Getting down to August 20, St Stephan day that is the subject of this article. It has been such for over a thousand years, until the communists changed it to the Celebration of The New Bread and the Day of the (communist) Constitution..

    The current HU Government reinstated the original character of this holyday and I see nothing wrong with it. Tradition is an important part of every culture and imperative to keep it going unless we are willing to give up our identity as we are today.

    I wonder if the writer would denounce the Saudi king for they celebrate Ramadan in their embassy in the USA (which they do every year) based on “Church and State business are separated in the United States and it is inappropriate for” …. Ah, he wouldn’t. Only Orbán …

  5. The Catholic rite celebrates Hungary’s past and the National Holiday represents the present and the future. There does not seem to be anything offensive about the dual celebration. King Stephen is honored by all Hungarians and all faiths in Hungary. Try not to cause division.

  6. I Agree with György – this sounds like selective national religion…
    A beginning to no good to follow.

    • Robert Morrison says:

      “this sounds like selective national religion”
      or preserving tradition, maybe reinstating it after 70 years of communist abuse of our cultural heritage.

      To the best of my knowledge nobody is forced to follow the religious aspect of it and nobody is harmed for not doing so.

      Is that the same in Saudi Arabia too?

  7. Bob Morrison;

    OK, enjoy your glory.
    Frankly, I lost counting. Just surprised to see my posting appear now and than.
    Do not feel bad, may be that is why they call this site “Hungarian…”

  8. Phil S. Stine says:

    of all the things that the currant Hungarian regime can be (in my view) rightly criticised for, this is not one of them.

  9. Robert Morrison says:

    Phil S. Stine on August 27, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Welcome to the Club. This site is famous for keeping comments in limbo, most likely forever, or even make them to evaporate. (reply to your comment under another article Phil S. Stine on August 27, 2018 at 1:36 am)

    Do not give up just follow the above advice I received yesterday:
    Joe on August 26, 2018 at 3:20 pm
    “…… you are in full control of the publication rate of your comments. All you have to do is become ideologically correct and your average will rise to 100%. That is not a lottery, just stop writing inconvenient comments. It is really your fault for not learning your lesson.”

    I am a slow learner …. so I keep sending my comments to the “trash”.

    • For the record, I just got censored yesterday, for no other reason except that I disagree with site content in a factual, reasonable and polite manner.

  10. Váci Klebelsberg Kultúrkör says:

    “Ambassador Szabó, who is a medical doctor without previous diplomatic experience, has to understand that he represents ALL Hungarians, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Hungarian Christians, Atheists, Muslims and Jews all celebrate August 20th. …”
    We are absolutely convinced if any other “Hungarian Chrisitians, Atheists, Muslims and Jews ” -as the author mentions would make a holy mass or in their proper faith a Hungary blessing ceremony the ambassador would participate on it.

  11. Váci Klebelsberg Kultúrkör says:

    Btw. (as a trivial question to the author): Hungary as “Regnum Marianum” (Country of Holy Mary) should be ‘atheist, muslim or jewish’ ?

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