September 5th - St. Melchior Grodziecki



September 5th - St. Melchior Grodziecki (Grondech)
(& Istvan (Stephen) Pongracz, SJ, & Marko Krizevcanin (Mark Crisin or Körösy)

Born in Silesia, Poland (now Czech), in 1584 (Grodziecki) and Transylvania,
Hungary, 1583 (Pongracz) and Croatia (Körösy); died in Kosice, Hungary,
September 5, 1619; beatified by Pius X in 1905; canonized by John Paul II on
July 2, 1995.

These two aristocratic martyrs of Kosice died in the religious wars with
Hungarian Calvinists. Grodziecki met Pongracz in the Jesuit novitiate at Brno in
1603. They completed the usual course of Jesuit studies in Moravia, Bohemia, and
Hungary. When the Hungarian king requested the services of Jesuits to care for
Roman Catholics neglected during the 30 Years War, Pongracz was sent to work
with Hungarians, and Grodziecki the slavic- and German-speaking peoples. Their
ministries were so successful that they became notorious with their Calvinist
opponents.

In 1619, the Calvinist prince of Transylvania sought to conquer Kosice to expand
his domain. The town fell on September 5 during the Battle of Kosice. The two
Jesuits together with the Croatian diocesan priest, Marko Krizevcanin, were
captured. Throughout their imprisonment, attempts were made to convert them to
Calvinism. They suffered cruel martyrdoms similar to that of Saint Andrew
Bobola. Father Krizevcanin was the first to be beheaded, then Grodziecki. Father
Pongracz survived the beheading and was dumped with the dead bodies into a sewer
to reflect upon his life for an additional day. Their followers were unable to
give the bodies Christian burial until 20 years later when their relics were
interred in the monastery of Saint Clare in Trnava (Benedictines, and
information from a Jesuit website that I forgot to mark).


St.Melchior Grodziecki

Polish
1584-1619
One of the three Martyrs of Kosice put to death at the hands of fanatical
Calvinists along with
Stephen Pongrácz and Mark Crisinus, who was the Cathedral Canon in Kosice,
Hungary.

Born into the Polish aristocracy in Silesia.
He met his companion, St.Stephen Pongrácz, in the Jesuit novitiate at Brno in
1603.
Taught and preached in Prague.
During the 30-Years' War, however, as Jesuits were driven from one place to
another,
Melchior's journeys through Moravia and Slovakia finally led to his martyrdom
when he arrived in Kosice, Hungary where he went to help fortify the Catholics
there.

A Calvinist prince in Transylvania was taking advantage of Hungary's war
involvement and
moved to expand his territory. At the time Kosice was a stronghold of Hungarian
Calvinists, and the few Catholics who lived in the city and its outlying
districts had been without a priest for
some time.
Melchior came to help the Polish speaking Catholics and Stephen Pongrácz came
for those who
spoke a Slavic language or German. When the Calvinist Minister heard the Jesuits
had arrived
he sent his soldiers to arrest them.
Melchior, Stephen and Mark were brutally burned, dismembered and then beheaded.


St.Stephen Pongrácz

Transylvanian
1583-1619
One of the three Martyrs of Kosice put to death at the hands of fanatical
Calvinists along with
Melchior Grodziecki and Mark Crisinus, who was the Cathedral Canon in Kosice.

Stephen could have lived an honourable pleasant life in his native Transylvania,
but chose to
preach the Gospel in eastern Slovakia.

The king of Hungary requested the services of Jesuits to care for Roman
Catholics neglected during the 30 Years War of the early 17th century. Pongracz
worked with Hungario-philes, Grodziecki aided slavic- and German-speaking
peoples. Their ministries were so successful that they became targets of
Calvinist antagonism.

When he preached in Kosice, Hungary, he was granted the palm of martyrdom, which
he had
always considered a most enviable reward. A Calvinist prince in Transylvania was
taking
advantage of Hungary's involvement in the 30-year war and tried to expand his
own territory. At
that time Kosice was a stronghold of Hungarian Calvinists, and the few Catholics
who lived in
the city and its outlying districts had been without a priest for some time.
When the Calvinist Minister heard the Jesuits had arrived he sent his soldiers
to arrest them. Stephen, Melchior and Mark were then brutally tortured and
killed.
The Calvinists refused to allow the remaining Catholic citizens to bury them
until three months
had passed. Tenacious as were the Calvinists in their hold on much of this
unhappy country they
could not halt the creation of a powerful Catholic bastion there.


Quote:
Understanding, knowledge, and wisdom must increase and powerfully grow in one
and in all, both in each individual man and in the Church, during the passage of
time and of the ages, but grow solely within its own species, that is to say,
within the same dogma, in the same sense, and in the same meaning [in eodem
dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia]. --St. Vincent of Lerins

Bible Quote
3 And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: Is it lawful
to heal on the Sabbath day? 4 But they held their peace. But he taking him,
healed him, and sent him away. 5 And answering them, he said: Which of you shall
have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out, on
the Sabbath day? 6 And they could not answer him to these things. (Luke
14:3-6)


<<>><<>><<>>
During this month of September which gives us the exaltation of the Holy
Cross on the fourteenth, it traditionally is a month devoted to that sacred
tree. The following are three prayers in honor of the Cross of Christ:

The Cross is my sure salvation.
The Cross it is that I worship evermore.
The Cross of our Lord is with me.
The Cross is my refuge.

(A prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas) traditional indulgence of 300 days;
plenary on usual conditions if recited 30 days


Assist us, O Lord our God; and defend us evermore by the might of Thy holy
Cross, in whose honor Thou makest us to rejoice. Through Christ our
Lord. Amen.

(Roman Missal) traditional indulgence of 5 years; plenary on usual
conditions if recited 30 days


O God, Who didst will to hallow the standard of the life-giving Cross by
the Precious Blood of Thine only-begotten Son; grant, we beseech Thee, that
they who rejoice in honoring the same holy Cross, may rejoice also in Thine
ever-present protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Roman Missal) traditional indulgence of 5 years; plenary on usual
conditions if recited 30 days. Imprimatur: + Francis Spellman, Archbp. of
New York, May 30, 1951.




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