St. Stephen was born sometime during 975 AD, in Esztergom, Hungary. Much of his childhood is unknown, but we know he was baptized at the age of 10 with his father. Even though both of his parents were baptized, he was the only one who became a devoted Christian. His father was in fact leader of the Magyars, a group who lived in the Danube area. When he was 20 years old, he married Gisela, who was the sister of the future emperor, St. Henry.
After his father’s death, he fought for the throne against a cousin, and won. He was crowned King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II between 1000 AD and 1001 AD. St. Stephen United Hungary and protected it against invaders. He supported the expansion of Christianity, with punishments for ignoring it. St. Stephen founded one archbishop, thee Benedictine monasteries, and six bishoprics. His reign gave Hungary a period of peace.
St. Stephen died on August 15, 1038, and was buried in Székesfehérvár. He was canonized by Pope Gregory VII, and is the patron saint of Hungary. He had a large impact on Christianity in Hungary, and his feast day, Augusta 20, is a public holiday in Hungary, celebrating the foundation of the state.
Saint Stephen, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. Set me on fire with a love for Jesus, that I may thirst for His sacraments and burn with zeal for the spread of His kingdom. By your powerful intercession, help me in the performance of my duties to God, myself and all the world. Win for me the virtue of purity and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin. Protect me this day, and every day of my life. Keep me from mortal sin. Obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Amen.
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