Saint Stephen of Hungary (975-1038)
for August 16
Saint Stephen of Hungary was baptized at a young age. His father was the chief of the Magyars, and Stephen succeeded his father as chieftain. Stephen married the daughter of Duke Henry II, and dedicated much of his time to the advancement of his Christian faith. He supported Church leaders, assisted with the building of churches, and was an advocate for the rights of the Holy See. Saint Stephen also stopped a number of pagan uprisings. In light of all that he had done for the people of Hungary, he was crowned king. While king, Stephen started a tax system, with the collected funds going to support churches and the poor. This good king was canonized in 1083, and is the patron saint of Hungary.
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Many of Christianity's saints were members of religious communities, but Saint Stephen of Hungary was a member of the laity. His strong faith and dedication to upholding Christian principles led him to become holy. Saint Stephen's taxation of the wealthy to help the poor is a prime example of the positive role that government leaders can have in caring for the poor as Christians believe we all ought to do. In what ways do you see your leaders furthering the Christian message?
Dear Jesus, please help my government to place the needs of the forgotten and impoverished above all others.