Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I say to you: it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, believe me: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for the one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
On hearing this, the disciples were astonished and said, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and answered, “For human beings it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter spoke up and said, “You see, we have given up everything to follow you. What, then, will there be for us?”
Jesus answered, “You, who have followed me, listen to my words: on the Day of Renewal, when the Son of Man sits on his throne in glory, you, also, will sit, on twelve thrones, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. As for those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property for my Name’s sake, they will receive a hundredfold, and be given eternal life. Many who are now first, will be last, and many who are now last, will be first.
The saint we are remembering today is quite special: he is the only saint who was canonized along with his son! This happened in 1083.
Born a pagan sometime between 970 and 975 in Hungary, Stephen was baptized in his early youth and married Gisela, sister of the future Emperor Henry II. In 1001, Stephen was crowned king of Hungary. The seminomadic people of Hungary were then mostly pagan, and as a fervent Christian and a staunch supporter of the Church, Stephen worked hard to convert the Hungarians and to organize the Hungarian Church.
Since he was aware that his seminomadic people could survive only if they embraced Christianity and gave up their feudal divisions, Stephen eliminated everything which belonged to the old pagan order and transformed the tribal state into a “modern” state of Western pattern, independent of its neighbors.
As the years passed, Stephen wanted to entrust a greater part of the government to his only son, Emeric, a young man of deep piety, but in 1031 the 24-year-old prince was killed while hunting. Stephen had raised his son with such Christian care that the latter was eventually canonized with his father. What loving father could ask for more?
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