Papal Letter Marks a Hungarian Milestone

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 8, 2001 ( Without prayer a Christian runs the risk of living a mediocre and superstitious faith, John Paul II states in a letter marking the 1,000th anniversary of Catholicism in Hungary.

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In his apostolic letter, addressed to Archbishop Laszlo Paskai of Esztergom-Budapest, primate of Hungary, the Pope highlights the example of King Stephen, a man of prayers.

He explains that the first Hungarian king, who died in 1038, found in the Christian faith “a living fountain” that enabled him to exercise his role of monarch as a “service” to his people.

King Stephen´s lesson for us today, the Pope states, is the need to foster the “spirit of prayer.” Without prayer, Christians risk a bland and superstitious faith, especially “in face of the numerous tests that today´s world poses to faith,” the Pope writes.

Last summer, Bartholomew I, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, and the patriarchate´s Holy Synod, decided to recognize Stephen of Hungary as a saint of the Orthodox Church.

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