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Hungarian Images and Historical Background

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"Isten, hazánkért térdelünk Elődbe,
Rút bűneinket jóságoddal född be.
Szent magyaroknak tiszta lelkét nézzed.
Érdemét idézzed.

István királynak szíve gazdagságát,
Szent Imre herceg kemény tisztaságát,
László királynak vitéz lovasságát,
Ó, ha csak ezt látnád !

Szent Erzsébetből hős szeretet árad.
Margit imái vezekelve szállnak.
Minket hiába, Uram, ne sirasson
Áldott Boldogasszony.

Ránk bűnösökre minden verés ráfér,
De könyörögnek ők tépett hazánkért.
Hadd legyünk mink is tiszták, hősök, szentek:
Hazánkat így mentsd meg !"


Images and text supplied by: András Szeitz


AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HUNGARIAN CORONATION JEWELS

THE CROWN OF SAINT STEPHEN I.

There is no other nation in the world, who would keep in such a high reverence, have such a high respect for, love with such a mystical adoration their national relic as the Hungarians do with their crown, the Hungarian Holy Crown. There is no other nation to be found, whose national relic's source, origin and age are so much unanswered, surrounded with such a mystery, and went through such fantastic adventures as did the crown of the Hungarians. Believed to be the crown of the first Hungarian king, Saint Stephen I. (1000-1038), this crown was pawned or lost, stolen or seized, stashed or rescued and was kept in more royal courts, towns, castles and citadels than any other nation's coronation jewel. Wars were waged for this crown and it happened that it was dug underground in a iron chest or in a crude oil barrel. Every time the Holy Crown returned to Hungary, it brought about an elevated emotional, solemn atmosphere in the entire country, and its power was so enormous over the nation that the people knelt down before the coach carrying the crown, as they did later before the train bringing home the remains of Louis Kossuth.

The above examples meant to say that the Holy Crown was not only a crown for the Hungarians. It represented something much bigger and universal. The Holy Crown had divine power for them and symbolised the whole kingdom, the territory of the country, the entire Hungarian nation. That is why it was more important than anything else for the Hungarians to rescue and safeguard the crown in decisive historic periods, because if there was no Holy Crown, there was no Hungary. This is the reason why king Bela IV rescued it to the fortress of Klissa (Croatia today) from the Tartar invasion (1241), king Matthias bought it back from Vienna for an astrological [astronomical] price (1463), Peter Perenyi hid it in his citadel of Fuzer from the Ottoman invasion (1526), Louis Kossuth dug it underground in an iron chest near Orsova (Rumania today) after the surrender to the Habsburgs at Vilagos (1849) and Ferenc Szalasi rescued it to Austria from the invading Red Army and dug it underground in an oil barrel (1945). These historic events are only few examples from the horrendous adventures the Hungarian Holy Crown went through but they all deliver the same message, i.e. as long as the Holy Crown is safe and exists, Hungary is safe and exists.

The unique role the Holy Crown had in the Hungarian history brought about the development of a doctrine called the "Holy Crown Theory." Initiated by king Kalman the Booklover (1095-1116), this theory holds that the utmost ruler of Hungary is not the king but the Holy Crown. In the kingdom, everything, i.e. country, towns, lands, belong not to the king but to the Holy Crown. The ultimate power is not that of the king but the crown's and, for example, if a dynasty died out, their land did not return to the king (where it came from) but to the crown. The territories which joined Hungary (Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Rama [Bosnia], Serbia, etc.) click to see maps and shields were not absorbed into Hungary but became "members of united territories of the Hungarian Holy Crown". Verdicts were declared in the name of the Holy Crown and not the king, and during those troublesome times when the country had no king, the civil leaders swore in for the Holy Crown. (The final form of the "Holy Crown Theory" was drafted and published by Stephen Werboczy, a jurist, in his book called Tripartium, 1517, Vienna).

In 1945, the US Army seized the Hungarian Holy Crown, and according to a statement No 687, issued by the State Department in 1951, the US Government did not consider it as a spoils of war but stored it as a deposit. The Holy Crown was kept in Fort Knox, KY, the same place where the US keeps its gold treasure, and it finally returned to Hungary on January 5 1978, when State Secretary Cyrus Vance transferred it to the possession of the Hungarian Government.

The Hungarian Holy Crown consists of two separate parts, i.e. the lower circular crown called the Greek crown (corona graeca) and the upper arch-type crown called the latin crown (corona latina).

The lower circular crown was given as a gift to the Hungarian king Geza I. by the Byzantine emperor Michael Dukas in 1074. Made in the goldsmith shops of the emperor, the front perimeter of the circular crown has 5 semicircular and 4 triangular enamelled golden plates in alternating sequence. In the central plate, the figure of Jesus Christ can be seen sitting on a throne, raising his right hand for blessing and holding a book in his left. This is a typical representation of Christ in the Byzantine art, where he is shown as the World Ruler (Pantokrator). From Christ to the lower left and right, Gabriel and Michael archangels look toward Jesus. Next to Michael is the picture of Saint George (a warrior saint in the byzantine mythology) followed by Saint Kosma (a healing saint). Next to the Gabriel is the picture of Saint Demetrius (a warrior saint) followed by Saint Damjanus (a healing saint). In the back, at the opposite location to the Pantokrator Christ, the enamelled golden plate of Michael Dukas, Byzantine Emperor can be seen holding a regal sign in his right hand and a sword in his left. From him to the lower left and right, emperor Constantin, Jr. and Hungarian king Geza I. look toward Dukas. In the front, beneath the plate of Christ, a large blue indian sapphire gem is located followed by on both sides between the plates of the saints a red almandine garnet, another sapphire and a green glass stone. In the back, beneath the plate of Michael Dukas, a large sapphire gem is located. On the hind perimeter of the corona graeca 18 pearls are sitting, and four little golden chains with gems at their tips are clinging on the left and right side of the crown and one in the back. In the Middle Ages, the gems had their own meaning. According to this, the blue sapphire symbolized the see, the red almandine the fire, the green glass the earth, and together they represented the Universe.

The upper part of the Holy Crown is the older one which was sent by Pope Sylvester II. to Saint Stephen I, the first Hungarian king in 1000 A.D. in recognition of his mission to turn the pagan Hungarians to christianity and to recognize the Hungarian state. On the top of the corona latina, the enamelled golden plate shows again the World Ruler Christ (Pantokrator) raising his right hand for blessing and holding a book in his left. The upper part of the Holy Crown has an arch-type design and carries pictures in enamelled golden plate of 8 apostles. Ahead of Christ comes the picture of John and Bartholomew, to the right Peter and Andrew, to the left Paul and Philip, to the back James and Thomas. The figures are surrounded by filigree ornaments made of golden wire, pearls and almandine garnets. On the top plate of the arch, a golden cross is mounted which is not the original one. It is believed that the original cross was a relic holder and contained a little piece of the cross on which Christ was crucified. This cross was broken off and later replaced by the present one which was originally in upright position and its leaning posture is likely due to a physical damage. The earliest representation of the Holy Crown dating from the 17th century already shows it in leaning position. The two parts, the lower circular Greek crown and the upper arch-type latin crown was attached together by Hungarian king Geza I. at the end of the 11th century, and it is proven that the complete Hungarian Holy Crown already existed in 1166. So, it is more than 800 years old.

The Hungarian Holy Crown is a harmonic complex of many styles of art, fine goldsmith's and artistic works, so it truly counts for a masterpiece. Apart from that, it represents their country, nation and culture for the Hungarians, and such, it is much more than just a regal jewel for them, it is their highest regarded national relic. If the Holy Crown were able to speak, it could tell all the ups and downs, despairs and hopes, anguishes and happiness, cares and cheers the Hungarians went through with their crown during their history which made them, the Holy Crown and the nation, two unseparable parts.

THE CLOAK

The coronation cloak is an invaluable piece of the history of art. Originally designed as a closed chasuble, it is made of dark purple Byzantine silk and embroidered with golden thread. The latin inscription running across its surface horizontally reveals its origination and age: "Casula hec operata et data ecclesiae Sanctae Mariae sitae in civitate Alba anno incarnacionis xpi MXXXI indiccione XIII a Stephano rege et Gisla regina" (i.e. This chasuble was made in the 1031st year of the reincarnation of Christ, in the 13th indiction, by king Stephen and queen Gisela, and was given to the Saint Mary abbey at Fehervar). According to this, the cloak is more than 900 years old. On the back of the cloak, there is a large Y-shaped cross in the middle. Between its branches, a row of angel figures are standing, and at the cross of the branches, Christ is shown in an oval circle as he steps on a dragon and a lion, as the sign of his victory over death and sin. To his right and left, Saint John evangelist and Mary are shown as she prays with her hands raised in Byzantine style. Beneath the branches of the Y-shape, the prophets of the Old Testament stand in a semicircle, as they hold rolled books in their hands with their names above. The narrow band under the row of prophets carries the above quoted inscription of origination. In the middle of the next semicircle, the figure of Christ sitting on a throne is shown as he is raising his right hand for blessing and holding a book in his left. This is a typical representation of Christ in the Byzantine art, where he is shown as the World Ruler (Maiestas Domini). On his both sides, the sitting figures of the 12 apostles can be seen under a row of ornamental arcades, with small warriors above their heads which represents the fight between good and evil. In the lowest semicircle, the figures of the first martyrs of christianity are shown with pairs of birds and ornaments in the background. The two central figure on the bottom are king Stephen (Stephanus rex) holding an orb and a lance, and queen Gisela holding a model of an abbey. Between them, the unmarked picture of a young man is located who is probably their son, Prince Emericus who died at a young age.

The row of the figures as they follow each other in such a sequence on the cloak is not coincidental. It is the illustration of the one of the most well-known thanksgiving masses , the "Te Deum" which was composed by Saint Ambrosius, a bishop in Milan, Italy.

The chasuble was cut up and redesigned as an open cloak during the reign of king Bela III. and a collar with pearl embroidery was attached to it.

The coronation cloak is an integral piece of the Hungarian coronation relics which originates directly from Saint Stephen I. The author of the contemporary Austrian Rimes Chronicle wrote it for the first time that during the coronation of king Andrew III. in 1290, the king was wearing a holy dress which was also worn by Saint Stephen I.

THE SCEPTRE

The sceptre symbolized the power, the authority, the jurisdiction of the kingdom. The Hungarian coronation sceptre is an ancient type which rather reminds of a weapon (i.e. mace) than a sign of royalty. The head is made of a crystal sphere which is 7 centimetre (2.75 inches) in diameter and according to our present knowledge, it is the third largest hole-drilled crystal in the world. It is held in a setting which consists of three golden clamps covered with filigree ornaments made of gilded silver wires. The crystal is mounted on the top of a hazel handle also covered with gilded silver wire ornaments. The crystal sphere has three figures of crouching lions cut in it, and it is thought that it was made in the 10th century in Egypt, during the reign of the Fatimida kings. On the top of the clamps holding the crystal sphere, a magic knot is placed which is a common sign in the Byzantine mythology to prevent from trouble, and such are the little balls clinging small golden chains which, with their jingling sound kept the vicious spirits away. The present Hungarian regal orb was made during the reign of king Bela III. (1173-1196) and it is unique in its nature because the western kingdoms never used sceptres with a mace-like design. In the west, a cross or a lily ornament was commonly used, and sceptres similar to the Hungarian one in style were recorded from the era of the Persian kings. It was taken over from Persia by the nomadic Avar hordes who wandered and eventually settled in Transylvania. This explains the fact that excavations of Avar graves in Hungary today, the archaeologists found bone-spheres pinned on the tip of handles which resembled a mace.

THE ORB

The orb symbolized the territory, the country, the ground of the kingdom. There are orbs of other countries into which they put soil. The original orb which belonged to Saint Stephen I. was lost, and the present one is made of two silver hemisphere which are soldered together and gilded. On the top of the orb, the apostolic double-cross emerges which was awarded by Pope Sylvester II. to Saint Stephen I. in 1000 A.D. in recognition of his mission to turn the pagan Hungarian to christianity. To the front and the back of the orb, a little shield is attached which carry the joint coat of arms of the Hungarian "Arpad-stripes" and the Lilies of the House of the Anjou from Naples. This particular joint coat of arms is very rare and was used for a short period of time only by Charles Robert Anjou king reigning in Hungary between 1308-1342. This coat of arms could be attached later and it is possible that the orb is much older.

THE SWORD

The sword is the symbol of the defense of the country. Its role was that after the king was crowned, he rode on his horse to the top of the coronation hill and made four strikes with it toward the four points of the compass. This was the traditional sign that he will defend the country from attacks should it come from any direction. The original sword of Saint Stephen I. was lost, however, they store a viking sword in the Saint Vid cathedral in Prague since the 14th century, and an inventory made in 1368 called it the sword of Saint Stephen. The present sword was made in the 16th century, probably in Venice. It has a double-edged blade and a renaissance ornament at its hilt with a curved cross metal and a knobbed end. The scabbard is covered with red velvet and has belts for the king to attach it to his waist.

         © 1995 Andras Szeitz

The golden holder of the skull relic of Hungarian king St. Laszlo I, 1077-1095.

Map of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 18th Century

References:
1. Zsuzsa Lovag,The Hungarian Coronation Jewels. Budapest, Hungarian National Museum, 1978 (in Hungarian).
2. Lajos Csomor, The Holy Crown of Hungary, Vaja, The Adam Vay Society, 1984 (in Hungarian).
3. Peter Ruffy, Hungarian Relics, Hungarian Symbols, Budapest, Kossuth Konyvkiado, 1988 (in Hungarian).


THE HUNGARIAN HOLY CROWN

Click to get a larger picture.

References:
1. Zsuzsa Lovag,The Hungarian Coronation Jewels. Budapest, Hungarian National Museum, 1978 (in Hungarian).
2. Lajos Csomor, The Holy Crown of Hungary, Vaja, The Adam Vay Society, 1984 (in Hungarian).
3. Peter Ruffy, Hungarian Relics, Hungarian Symbols, Budapest, Kossuth Konyvkiado, 1988 (in Hungarian).

Hungarian Maps and Coats of Arms
MAPS

NOTE: Click on the images to retrieve a larger version.

[The Carpathian Basin before the Hungarians] The Carpathian Basin before the Hungarian Conquest in the 9th century.

[Wander and Conquest of the Hungarians] The wanderings of the Hungarians and the Conquest of Transylvania, 400-900 A.D.

[The Carpathian Basin in the 13th century] The Carpathian Basin in the 13th century.

[Hungary in the 11th century] Map of Hungary in the 11th century.

[Hungary in the 13th century] Map of Hungary in the 13th century (with the Tartar Invasion, 1241 [inset] ).

[Hungary in the 15th century] Map of Hungary in the 15th century.

[Hungary during the Ottoman occupation] Map of Hungary during the Turkish (Ottoman) occupation, 1526-1606.

[Hungary in the 18th century]Map of Hungary in the 18th century.

[The 64 counties of Hungary, 1876] The 64 counties of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1876.

[Nationalities of Hungary in 1886] The Nationalities of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1886.

[Kingdom of Hungary in 1886]The Kingdom of Hungary in 1886.

[Nationalities of Hungary, 1910 Census.]Nationalities of the Kingdom of Hungary according to the 1910 Census (by Count Pál Teleki).

[States of the Carpathian Basin, 1914] States of the Carpathian Basin in 1914.

[The Perfect Geographic Unit] The Perfect Geographic Unit : The Kingdom of Hungary, 1914.

[Austria-Hungary in 1914] Austria-Hungary in 1914.

[Hungary before and after Trianon, 1920] Hungary before and after the Treaty of Trianon, 1920.

[Dismemberment of Hungary, 1920 (I) ]The dismemberment of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Trianon Treaty, 1920 (I).

[Dismemberment of Hungary, 1920 (II) ] The dismemberment of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Trianon Treaty, 1920 (II).

COAT OF ARMS

The Coat of Arms of Hungary with wreath

The Coat of Arms of Hungary without wreath

The official Coat of Arms of the Republic of Hungary (postcard)

The Coat of Arms of Hungary with the territories and angels.

Postcard of the Coat of Arms of Hungary.

Black and White Coat of Arms of Hungary with wreath.

Coats of Arms of the 64 Counties of the Kingdom of Hungary

[The 64 counties of Hungary, 1876]

COATS OF ARMS

OF THE

64 COUNTIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HUNGARY, 1876

Excerpt from the book :

A SHORT HISTORY OF AUSTRIA - HUNGARY AND POLAND,
by H. Wickham Steed, Walter Alison Phillips, and David Hannay,
LONDON, THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA COMPANY, LTD. 1914,

"... Administrative Divisions. - Since 1867 the administrative and political divisions of the landlonging to the Hungarian crown have been in great measure remodelled. In 1868 Transylvania was definitely reunited to Hungary proper, and the town and district of Fiume declared autonomous. In 1873 part of the "Military Frontier" was united with Hungary proper and part with Croatia-Slavonia. Hungary proper, according to ancient usage, was generally divided into four great divisions or circles, and Transylvania up to 1876 was regarded as the fifth. In 1876 a general system of counties was introduced. According to this division Hungary proper is divided into seven circles, of which Transylvania forms one.

The whole country is divided into the following counties :

(a) The circle on the left bank of the Danube (Duna) contains eleven counties:
1. [Árva county] Árva
2. [Bars county] Bars
3. [Esztergom county] Esztergom
4. [Hont county] Hont
5. [Liptó county] Liptó
6. [Nógrád county] Nógrád
7. [Nyitra county] Nyitra
8. [Pozsony county] Pozsony (Pressburg)
9. [Trencsén county] Trencsén
10.[Túrócz county] Túrócz
11.[Zólyom county] Zólyom
(b) The circle on the right bank of the Danube contains eleven counties:
12.[Baranya county] Baranya
13.[Fejér county] Fejér
14.[Győr county] Győr
15.[Komárom county] Komárom
16.[Moson county] Moson
17.[Somogy county] Somogy
18.[Sopron county] Sopron
19.[Tolna county] Tolna
20.[Vas county] Vas
21.[Veszprém county] Veszprém
22.[Zala county] Zala
(c) The circle between the Danube and Theiss (Tisza) contains five counties:
23.[Bács-Bodrog county] Bács-Bodrog
24.[Csongrád county] Csongrád
25.[Heves county] Heves
26.[Jász-Nagy-Kun-Szolnok county] Jász-Nagy-Kun-Szolnok
27.[Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county] Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun
(d) The circle on the right bank of the Theiss contains eight counties:
28.[Abaúj-Torna county] Abaúj-Torna
29.[Bereg county] Bereg
30.[Borsod county] Borsod
31.[Gömör-és-Kis-Hont county] Gömör-és-Kis-Hont
32.[Sáros county] Sáros
33.[Szepes county] Szepes
34.[Ung county] Ung
35.[Zemplén county] Zemplén
(e) The circle on the left bank of the Theiss contains eight counties:
36.[Békés county] Békés
37.[Bihar county] Bihar
38.[Hajdú county] Hajdú
39.[Máramaros county] Máramaros
40.[Szabolcs county] Szabolcs
41.[Szatmár county] Szatmár
42.[Szilágy county] Szilágy
43.[Ugocsa county] Ugocsa
(f) The circle between the Theiss and the Maros contains five counties:
44.[Arad county] Arad
45.[Csanád county] Csanád
46.[Krassó-Szörény county] Krassó-Szörény
47.[Temes county] Temes
48.[Torontál county] Torontál
(g) Transylvania contains fifteen counties:
49.[Alsó-Fehér county] Alsó-Fehér
50.[Besztercze-Naszód county] Besztercze-Naszód
51.[Brassó county] Brassó
52.[Csík county] Csík
53.[Fogaras county] Fogaras
54.[Háromszék county] Háromszék
55.[Hunyad county] Hunyad
56.[Kis-Küküllő county] Kis-Küküllő
57.[Kolozs county] Kolozs
58.[Maros-Torda county] Maros-Torda
59.[Nagy-Küküllő county] Nagy-Küküllő
60.[Szeben county] Szeben
61.[Szolnok-Doboka county] Szolnok-Doboka
62.[Torda-Aranyos county] Torda-Aranyos
63.[Udvarhely county] Udvarhely

Fiume town and district forms a separate division.

Croatia-Slavonia is divided into eight counties:

Besides these sixty-three rural counties for Hungary, and eight for Croatia-Slavonia Hungary has twenty-six urban counties or towns with municipal rights.
These are: Arad, Baja, Debreczen, Győr, Hódmező-Vásárhely, Kassa, Kecskemét, Kolozsvár, Komárom, Maros-Vásárhely, Nagyvárad, Pancsova, Pécs, Pozsony, Selmeczbánya, Bélabánya, Sopron Szabadka, Szatmár-Németi, Szeged, Székesfehérvár, Temesvár, Újvidék, Versecz, Zombor, the town of Fiume, and Budapest, the capital of the country.

In Croatia-Slavonia there are four urban counties or towns with municipal rights namely: Eszék, Varasd, Zágráb and Zimony...."

(end of excerpt)

The Kossuth Coat of Arms


THE HOLY RIGHT HAND

These pictures show the hand-relic of the first Hungarian Christian king Saint Stephen I. (1000-1038) which is kept in great reverence by the Hungarians. Saint Stephen I. accomplished the historic mission to turn to Christianity the pagan Hungarian tribes who arrived in Transylvania in 896 A.D. and to establish the Hungarian state. In this way, the new Christian Hungarian state could well fit in the community of the other Christian kingdoms of Europe and Saint Stephen I., by turning his nation to Christians, ensured the future of Hungary for the next one thousand years. For this huge achievement, he received the title "apostolic king" and he was canonized in 1083, which was initiated by king Saint Laszlo I who was himself canonized, too. As part of the canonization process, on August 20. 1083 (the day of Stephen in the christian world), the remains of king Saint Stephen I. were elevated from the crypt of the coronation cathedral in Szekesfehervar and the entire right arm was removed from the body and prepared for preservation. King Saint Laszlo I. appointed an abbott called Mercurius, who was responsible for the inventory keeping of the treasury of the cathedral, to store up the Holy Right Hand of Saint Stephen I. at his private mansion in county Bihar, eastern Hungary. Later they built an abbey at Mercurius' land to keep the Holy Right Hand which became a pilgrimage site later, and throughout the years a town erected in its neighbourhood which was also called Holy Right. According to the unjust peace treaty of Trianon at Versailles in 1920, the possession of the town Holy Right, which took its name from the holiest relic of the first Hungarian king, more justifiably can belong to Rumania rather than to Hungary, and with a motivation impossible to follow, the Allies annexed the town, along with entire Transylvania to Rumania. The town is called Siniob today.

The present day Holy Right Hand used to be a complete right arm, and it is believed that the lower arm is kept in Lemberg (Ukraine), whereas the upper arm is in the Saint Stephen cathedral in Vienna, where the inventory lists it since 1457.

In the late 11th century, Hungarian king Kalman the Booklover attached a little parchment plate to the Holy Right Hand with latin words on it: "Dextera beati Stephani Regis et Confessioris gloriosi" (i.e. The right hand of blessed king Stephen, glorious confessor). This piece of parchment testified the origin of the relic and was rolled up and inserted between the fingers of the hand.

The Holy Right Hand was kept in the abbey at Holy Right, county Bihar, until the Tartar invasion in 1241 when the Hungarian king Bela IV. rescued it to Raguza (Dubrovnik, Croatia) and left it in the care of the dominican monks. The monks placed it in their church, the Saint Jacob abbey, kept it with great reverence, and when they put it on public display on the day of Stephen (August 20), they locked the gates of the city and doubled the guards. In 1590, they build a relic holder for the Holy Right Hand made of silver and ground glass and since 1618 they listed it in their abbey inventory. Many historians agree that the lower and upper arm was detached from the right hand by the dominican monks and from here they were taken to Lemberg and Vienna.

In 1771, Habsburg Maria Theresa reigning queen in Hungary brought back the Holy Right Hand from Raguza and placed in in the imperial palace of Schonbrunn, Vienna. She had a glass coffin made for it and put a silver frame around the little parchment plate which carried the relic with its testimonial writing. After this, she gave it back to the Hungarians, and she left it in the responsibility of the priest of the parish of the royal palace in Buda (capital of Hungary then).

In 1862, the Hungarian Bishopric ordered a closed, chapel- shaped, ornamental relic holder to be built in neogothic design using silver and ground glass, and the smaller holder made in Raguza to be placed inside it.

Since 1882, the responsible person for the care of the Holy Right Hand has been the priest of the parish of the royal palace in Budapest, who was appointed by the king.

In 1944, as the front approached Budapest, the small relic holder with the Holy Right Hand was rescued to Austria where Dr. Rohracher, archbishop of Salzburg kept it. The neogothic chapel- shaped holder remained in the royal palace, and unfortunately, the building received a direct bomb hit and the little parchment plate, along with its accompanying photographs, perished in the flames. The neogothic holder also disappeared and everybody thought that it was destroyed under the ruins.

On Stephen's day, August 20 1945, Pater Fabian Flynn, priest of the US Army, brought back the Holy Right Hand from Austria and handed over to Bela Witz, who was the priest at the royal palace that time.

It was after the war that a message arrived to Bela Witz from a dominican church in the outskirts of Budapest (the Dominican Order seems to faithfully carry with the Holy Right Hand throughout its history) that the larger chapel-shaped, neogothic relic holder was not lost, because a young priest called Imre L'hullier found it within the ruins of the sieged royal palace where it was tossed in a ditch. He recognized it, took it home and hid it.

Today, the Holy Right Hand is resting in the Saint Stephen cathedral in Budapest and, along with the Holy Crown and the coronation jewels, it represents one of the very highly regarded historic objects for the Hungarians. It is a silent witness of the winding Hungarian road of history which was spiked with blessings and damns, cares and cheers, despairs and hopes, but which could never be so hard on the Hungarians to break the spirit of Hungary.

References:
1. Peter Ruffy, Hungarian Relics, Hungarian Symbols, Budapest, Kossuth Konyvkiado, 1988 (in Hungarian).
2. Hungarian World Congress, A Conference Edition, Budapest, 1992 (in Hungarian).