“Remembrance is a way of strengthening our covenant with our ancestors,” Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said in a speech marking the August 20 national holiday, commemorating the founding of the state of Hungary. “If we recognize that we are heirs and we have something to carry on, we will be able to discover the experiences of this millennium and all that is important to save for the future,” Gulyás said in Nagykanizsa, in south-western Hungary, on Saturday. Saint Stephen founded a state and built a country in turbulent and controversial times “which has stood the test of time”, Gulyás said. His laws form the basis of Hungary’s constitution and the county system he founded has always served local communities according to the spirit of the times, he said. Gulyás highlighted Saint Stephen’s role in organising Hungary’s dioceses, building its churches and converting the country to Christianity. “We have him to thank for Hungary’s role in the creation of Christian Europe, which the country has been a part of for a millennium…” he said.
“When we come together to remember the founding of the country, Saint Stephen’s legacy means that we still belong together today and that this country is home to everyone who inherited it from their parents or chose it themselves,” Gulyás said. Over the past millennium, Hungary was strong enough to survive occupations by Mongols, Turks and Soviets, the times when the fate of the country was determined elsewhere, as well as the Trianon Peace Treaty, he said. “Therefore we have good reason to hope that we will also overcome the hurdles presented by the difficulties of the present,” he added.
Photo credit: MTI