St. Stephen, Apostolic King of Hungary, Saint, Warrior, Apostle – Part IV

December 28, 2017

Continued from Part III

“Apostolic” King

What was the result? St. Emeric heeded the words of St. Stephen.

From then on, St. Stephen and St. Emeric were profoundly venerated by Hungarians down through the ages.

St. Stephen received from the Pope a crown which is venerated today as the royal crown, the symbol of power in Hungary. This crown was given to St. Stephen along with the title, Rex apostolicus, Apostolic King, that the Pope gave him for the magnificent apostolate he had done.

St. Stephen of Hungary in Budapest

Hungary was so much like the tip of the spear of the apostolate with barbarian nations to convert and subjugate them that he received the title of Apostolic King with a privilege no other king on earth had: Wherever he went he could be preceded by a dignitary carrying the cross of Christ.

So lofty was the title “Apostolic King” that the emperors of Austria, who were also kings of Hungary even to the last one, were called His Imperial Apostolic Majesty, because the Apostolic King was the King of Hungary.[i]

It is better to have that prestige than all modern police forces

What is best for a king: to have this kind of prestige or a super modern police force with spies, eavesdropping and everything else? Obviously, this prestige is worth more than all the modern police forces together. This is to dominate souls, to influence hearts. Who is able to destroy a spiritual power? No one.

And here is another, most beautiful proof of this. There was a king in Bohemia, current Czechoslovakia to simplify a bit, who played a role similar to that of St. Stephen in Hungary. It was St. Wenceslaus. To this day his statue is in the center of Prague, and not one communist dared to overthrow it. The communists took over everything, closed churches and arrested the clergy. But no one touched the statue of St. Wenceslaus. And even today when protest demonstrations are held against the communist regime, the morning dawns with the statue of St. Wenceslaus covered with flowers.[ii]

Stained glass window of King St. Wenceslaus in Prague, Oklahoma.

What is this? It is the remnant, a mark left on a people by a king who sought above all the kingdom of God and his justice. And because of that all things were added unto them.

 This doctrine is at the core of all TFP concepts

This, my dear friends, makes us understand the TFP very well. If you look for the essence of all things TFP, its political conceptions, strategies, tactics and everything else you will find this idea, this Catholic doctrine that the State exists primarily to serve the Church and to favor the Kingdom of God; and that, when it carries out this mission it becomes great in every way and from every point of view.

Joseph de Maistre wrote a magnificent page on nations that had missionaries. He shows that these nations never decay just as long as they keep their missions. And, that therefore, having missionaries is for a nation a factor of grandeur. That is an application of the principle I have just given.

Take the two nations from which almost all of us here in this auditorium descend from: Spain and Portugal. Brazil is a son of the apostolate of Portugal, which also sent missionaries to Angola, Mozambique, etc.

Note this interesting fact: The Portuguese empire still is the largest colonial empire in the world today after the English (which is neither an empire nor colonial but a vague federation of peoples indifferent to one another). The French Empire, which was not missionary, collapsed; the Italian empire, passably missionary, collapsed; the German Empire, anti-missionary, and the Dutch empire, anti-missionary, collapsed. All that is over. The Portuguese empire is maintained. [iii]

Joseph-Marie de Maistre, comte de Maistre

What would Portugal be today if it did not have these colonies, if it did not have Brazil? It would be some sub-Denmark. Not much, obviously. This is just for the sake of example, as no offense is meant to anyone here who might be Danish.

And what would Spain be without the enormous prestige that comes from having Spanish America? It would not be a sub-Denmark but a Denmark multiplied by two, which still does not mean a whole lot.

All that is a result of the missions. It is exactly the blessing of the missionary apostolate. It is the blessing of seeking the kingdom of God and his justice because all things will be added to boot.

[i] Apostolic Majesty is “a title given to the kings of Hungary, and used, since the time of Maria Theresa, by the King himself, as also in letters addressed to him by officials or private individuals. The origin of this title dates from St. Stephen” (A. Aldasy, Apostolic Majesty, The Catholic Encyclopedia, CD Rom edition). The title used by the Emperors of Austria was “His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty.”


[ii] St. Wenceslaus, duke and martyr (circa 903-935). “Glorious for his sanctity and miracles” (Roman Martyrology), His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Catholic, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother St. Ludmila. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity. At the instigation of his mother, he was murdered by his own brother, Boleslaw. His feast is celebrated on 28 september” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, CD Rom edition).

[iii] Prof. Plinio is speaking before Portugal gave up all its colonies.


To Be Continued…

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V


Previous post:

Next post: