Today, August 16, is the feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, and our Stephen has a long-running association with this country. Just a year ago, he was courting votes from the Colbert Nation to have a bridge in Hungary named after him. Here’s the clip where he talks about St. Stephen in his salute to “the country that may name a bridge after me.”
And here’s the clip of then Hungarian ambassador to the US congratulating him on being the top vote-getter in the online poll, with another mention of the saint.
(A bit of trivia: the photo that I’ve been using at the top of the blog is actually taken from this segment. The jacket is Stephen’s Hungarian ceremonial dress. So appropriate somehow.)
I also found this photo of a relic of the saint, and it somehow seemed to resonate with Stephen’s broken wrist. If I were better with Photoshop, I would have added a Wrist Strong bracelet, which just may have been sacrilegious. Although the red and white lacing sort of gives that impression. This icon, from the Fark.com contest, I believe is the other Stephen, but I add it here for my buddy Deacon Greg, who has a further reflection on the feast.
Finally, let’s close our celebration of the saint’s feast with these words of advice he gave to his son, St. Emeric (Courtesy of the Catholic Forum):
My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favor not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbors or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.
Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up to much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.
All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown, and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.
St. Stephen, pray for us.