As late as the tenth century the Magyar tribesmen of eastern Europe were still strangers to Christianity. King Stephen (997-1038) summoned missioners from France and Germany to preach the Faith to his subjects, and he himself accompanied the foreign priests on their apostolic journeys. The royal apostle promoted the growth of the Church in his realm so tirelessly that even during his lifetime Hungary developed from a rough mission land into a Christian kingdom. The Holy Father established a Hungarian hierarchy and conferred upon Stephen the title of Apostolic King. Having dedicated his country to Mary, "the Great Lady," King Stephen died in 1038 on the feast of her Assumption.
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
Almighty God, grant that the blessed confessor Stephen may now defend the Church from his throne in heaven, just as he fostered her growth when he ruled on earth. Through our Lord . . .
Look graciously upon our offerings, O Almighty God. Grant that we may imitate the selfless sacrifice of Our Lord's Passion which we celebrate in this Sacrificial Rite. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord . . .
Almighty God, may we walk with true devotion in the path of faith of Your blessed confessor Stephen, whose zeal for spreading that faith made him worthy to pass from an earthly kingdom to a glorious throne in heaven. Through our Lord . . .