Friday 22 February 2019

The Venerable Cardinal Mindszenty

The cause for Cardinal Mindszenty's canonization advanced last week as the Vatican officially named him Venerable.

József Cardinal Mindszenty (29 March 1892 – 6 May 1975) was leader of the Catholic Church in Hungary. He held the titles of Prince Primate, Archbishop of Esztergom, and Cardinal at the time of his arrest in December 1948 by the Communist government of Hungary .  He was sentenced to life in prison as an enemy of the state, which was a significant turning point in his decades long struggle for religious and democratic freedom in Hungary.
Cardinal Mindszenty would visit Toronto twice, once in 1947 during his trip to Canada for the Marian Congress, and once during a North American tour in 1973.
We have quite a few files on Cardinal Mindszenty, his visits to Canada, and his arrest. The documents include photographs, newsclippings, ephemera, and correspondence between Cardinal Mindszenty and our Ordinaries at the time of his arrest and exile, Cardinal McGuigan and Archbishop Pocock. Below are a few items that resonated with me:
Cardinal Mindszenty celebrates Mass with Toronto's Hungarian faithful at St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish, 1947.

PH 35M/09P

Prayers for the Persecuted leaflet that was distributed soon after the Cardinal's arrest in 1948.

This leaflet uses a dramatic shade of red, which is now associated with Communism. Red is used here as the colour of the Cardinalate and to symbolize the blood of martyrs.

MG SP24.29b  
"They will send you before the Tribunals (Mark 13:9)" Our Lady of the Cape, March 1949

This issue is dedicated almost entirely to Cardinal Mindszenty, describing his life, his visit to Canada and the significance of his arrest.

MG SP24.32
You can also catch glimpses of the Cardinal at the Marian Congress in the video footage we posted last month.

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