Catholic Procession and Hungary’s National Holiday

March 15th is Hungary’s most important National Holiday. It is not a religious occasion. It commemorates the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 that grew into a war for independence from the Habsburg rule. From the Catholic Habsburg rule.

The Hungarian Consulate of Chicago has sent out an invitation to a March 15th celebration taking place at Saint Stephen King of Hungary Roman Catholic Church. The event will start with a Catholic Procession.


It is a longstanding tradition in the US to separate church and state business. Religion should not be part of National Holidays, particularly in this case, where the 1848 anti-Habsburg uprising had a definite anti-Catholic edge. Lajos Kossuth, leader of the revolution, was a Protestant who married a Catholic woman but never was a great fan of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX was a strong ally of the Habsburgs and the Church became the target during the 1848 European Revolutions. When Mazzini proclaimed the Republic of Rome, even the Pope had to flee. In Hungary the 1848 Revolution abolished the tithe; the Catholic high clergy was not happy about that.

And why invite Hungarian diplomats to speak at these events. They will use the podium to spread the nationalist propaganda very much in fashion today in Budapest.

Zita Bencsik, Hungary’s Consul in Chicago.

The message of the 1848 Revolution is not about nationalism; just the opposite. Kossuth dreamed about a Danubian Confederation, a multi-ethnic, multinational alliance in the Carpathian Basin.

On January 7, 1852 Kossuth gave a speech at the dinner given by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., He introduced himself as the “the first Governor of independent Hungary, driven from his native land by Russian violence; an exile on Turkish soil, protected by a Mahometan Sultan against the bloodthirst of Christian tyrants…”

If he was alive, he would be shocked to learn that the March 15th National Holiday is celebrated with a Catholic Procession in Chicago.

György Lázár


  1. Avatar Arthur Nadas says:

    Thank you for this, Mr. Lázár.

  2. Yeah,March 15, 1848 was a glorious day for the young Hungarians who marched to the Nador’s office and had him sign their demands.
    The emperor in Wienna accepted and recognized just as the young revolutionaries demanded.
    The only thing that blew it all that Kossuth had to go and recrute an army of 200,000 men.
    That was an open declaration of war.
    And so it turned out to be war, a lost war.
    Szechenyi clearly publicized reality that the nation was in need of economic reforms, to be able to out-do the Habsburg empire. And sure could have done it, have been considered the basic common-sense approach.
    Even during the war, Gorgey’s goal was to make a deal with Wienna before othere imperial power gor involved.
    Kossuth opposed that and did also his general.
    Nut all the common sense has not been put to use.
    But had a chance to cry about the senseless failure even to this day.
    Would they ever consider taking lesson of their past errors ?
    I really doubt.

  3. What a phony statement that Kossuth was dreaming of a multi national alliance.
    Kossuth totally ignored, even dreamed to re-conquer all those nationalities. As even those of today.
    All I read on the 1848-49 “szabadsagharc-csatai”, Kossuth rather wanted the crown for himself.

  4. Avatar György Lázár says:

    For those of you who read Hungarian I suggest Kossuth’s plan of the Danubian Confederation here.

  5. Wouuu.
    Easy to see that Kossuth was out of touch with reality not only in 1848 but even at 1862.

    Have you read it before posting that web-address ?

    All data and info that one can possibly find does show that Kossuth had nothing but ego !

    Too bad for the nation in that time.

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