Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Give From Your Heart

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saint Stephen the Great of Hungary (969–1038) was the first king of that nation, helped bring Christianity to his nation a thousand years ago and helped popularize the ancient custom of tithing, the practice of offering a part — traditionally 10% — of one’s income or resources to a religious organization. While in Stephen’s time tithing was imposed as a mandatory obligation, in the early church donations were treated as freewill offerings. One’s generosity should not be forced; it needs to come from a willing heart. Open yours and share generously. Blessings will abound to you.

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Excerpt from a letter written by Saint Stephen to his son Prince Saint Emeric of Hungary; father and son were canonized jointly in 1083, and Emeric, who was killed by a boar while hunting in 1031, was Stephen’s only son to reach adulthood:

“My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.

“Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone.”

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The Apostolic Kingdom Saint Stephen founded may be perhaps the closest thing the world has ever seen to an absolutely Christian State. It was not the king who was sovereign, the Apostolic Crown itself was sovereign, embodying as it did God’s gift of order to the Hungarian people. All baptized  Hungarians are members of the Christiane Respublica, the commonwealth of Christ’s people on earth; they are in fact part of the crown. 

That doctrine gave the Apostolic Kingdom remarkable cohesion. It endured for almost a thousand years. It survived even the onslaught of Islamic war and attacks. For two centuries the Ottoman Turks occupied half the realm, and still Hungary did not die. The Apostolic Kingdom survived even the disaster of 1918, when Stephen’s last heir, the saintly King Charles was overthrown. The Kingdom survived even when the King was exiled. And when the Communist hordes overran Hungary, the Crown was smuggled to America and hidden at Fort Knox. 

Now the Crown of Saint Stephen is back in Budapest, and sits in the Hungarian Parliament, the guarantee of the nation’s cohesion, continuity and apostolic faith. Images of it are everywhere. 

“The Holy Crown is for the Hungarians what the lost Ark of the Covenant is for the Jews.” 

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