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St Martin Year 2016: Legendary Bishop Born In Hungary 1700 Years Ago Commemorated

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.05.07.

The government has allocated HUF 855 million (EUR 2.81m) for programmes to be organised at the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma in north-western Hungary during the 2016 Saint Martin Year, Ákos Kara, a state secretary of the national development ministry, said.

In March, the government declared 2016 a St Martin memorial year to mark the 1700th anniversary of the legendary bishop’s birth. The government has allocated another 2.5 billion forints to the city of Szombathely in western Hungary for programmes between November 11, 2015 and November 11, 2016 and related development projects, the state secretary told a press conference in Pannonhalma. Martin was born in the Roman province of Pannonia near the city of Savaria, what is today Szombathely, in 316. The son of a wealthy military officer, he was required to join the cavalry when he turned fifteen. He became baptized in 339. His good deeds and his compassion and empathy for the poor became legendary and by popular demand he was appointed to bishop of Tours in 371. Legend has it that Martin reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop. Upon realising the true purpose of his summons to Tours, Martin is said to have hidden in a barn full of geese whose frantic cackling betrayed his location.

The government’s St Martin Plan also includes a visit by Pope Francis to the town of Szombathely in western Hungary, birthplace of St. Martin. The invitation has already been accepted by the Pope and he is most likely to visit Hungary in July 2016, on the backwaters of his visit to the Cracow world youth meeting.

via hungarymatters.hu and alon.hu
photo: pannonhalma.network.hu