27 June 2023

Royal Saints – St Ladislas I., King of Hungary, Confessor (Feast Day 27 June)

From Fr Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints.

LADISLAS the First, called by the Hungarians St. Lalo, and in old French, Lancelot, was son of Bela king of Hungary, and born in 1041. By the pertinacious importunity of the people he was compelled, much against his own inclination, to ascend the throne in 1080, the kingdom being then elective. He restored the good laws and discipline which St. Stephen had established, and which seem to have been obliterated by the confusion of the times. Chastity, meekness, gravity, charity, and piety were from his infancy the distinguishing parts of his character; avarice and ambition were his sovereign aversion, so perfectly had the maxims of the gospel extinguished in him all propensity to those base passions. His life in the palace was most austere: he was frugal and abstemious, but most liberal to the Church and poor. Vanity, pleasure, or idle amusements had no share in his actions or time, because all his moments were consecrated to the exercises of religion and the duties of his station, in which he had only the divine will in view, and sought only God’s greater honour. He watched over a strict and impartial administration of justice, was generous and merciful to his enemies, and vigorous in the defence of his country and the Church. He added to his kingdom Dalmatia and Croatia, drove the Huns out of his territories, and vanquished the Poles, Russians, and Tartars. He was preparing to command as general-in-chief, the great expedition of the Christians against the Saracens for the recovery of the Holy Land, when God called him to himself on the 30th of July, 1095. He was buried at Waradin, where his relics continue “still to be illustrated by miracles,” says the Roman Martyrology, on the 27th of June, on which day, on account of their translation, it celebrates his festival. He was canonized by Celestine III. in 1198.  1
  How useless and impertinent are the scenes and amusements of the world, in which so many squander away that time which was given them to prepare for eternity! How insignificant and capricious are the lives of many who make here the greatest figure! The saints filled all their moments with good works and great actions; and, whilst they laboured for an immortal crown, the greatest share of worldly happiness of which this life is capable fell in their way without being even looked for by them. In their afflictions themselves, virtue afforded them the most solid comfort, pointed out the remedy, and converted their tribulations into the greatest advantages.

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