BUDAPEST – The General Minister erected a new province in Hungary on June 24. The result of a merger of the provinces of St. Mary and of St. John Capistran, the new province is titled Our Lady Queen of Hungary.
At a Mass, the General Minister, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, proclaimed a decree of erection and appointed the government of the province. He then addressed the friars, wishing them well during the process of forming the new entity. The General Minister was accompanied by Jakab Várnai, OFM, the General Councilor for the region.
The newly formed province has 115 friars, 12 of them in temporary profession. There are 12 houses, with two filial houses. The first provincial minister, elected by the General Council, is Gergely Magyar, OFM.
The feast of Our Lady Queen of Hungary, celebrated on Oct. 8, is very popular in Hungary. Pope John Paul II, during his homily at the inauguration of a chapel with this title in the Vatican Caves, on Oct. 8, 1980, recalled how Mary, under the title of Our Lady Queen of Hungary, “was constantly beseeched by the people during the most crucial hours of their national life. From the time Saint Stephen entrusted the sacred crown, the venerated symbol of national unity, and the entire population to the care of the Most Holy Virgin up to the painful and disturbing hours of the last World War, the flow of the trusting prayer of the children of Hungary to her, who, through ‘her maternal charity, cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties’ (LG 62), was never interrupted.”