Jusztinián György Serédi

Jusztinián György Serédi OSB (23 April 1884 – 29 March 1945) was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Esztergom and Prince Primate of Hungary. He helped save many thousands of Polish refugees, including thousands of Polish Jews, by helping Henryk Sławik and his associates, like József Antall Senior.

His Eminence

Jusztinián György Serédi

Cardinal, Archbishop of Esztergom
Primate of Hungary
Jusztinián Cardinal Serédi, archbishop of Esztergom.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic
Appointed30 November 1927
In office1928-1945
PredecessorJános Csernoch
SuccessorJózsef Mindszenty
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santi Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio
Ordination14 July 1908
Consecration8 January 1928
by Pius XI
Created cardinal19 December 1927
by Pius XI
Personal details
Born(1884-04-23)April 23, 1884
Deáki, Austria-Hungary (Present-day Diakovce, Slovakia)
DiedMarch 29, 1945(1945-03-29) (aged 60)
Esztergom, Hungary
BuriedEsztergom Basilica
Coat of armsJusztinián György Serédi's coat of arms
Styles of
Jusztinián György Serédi
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Jusztinián György Serédi was born in Deáki, Hungary (now Diakovce, Slovakia). He joined the Order of Saint Benedict on 6 August 1901, Pannonhalma. He was professed on July 10, 1905. He was ordained on 14 July 1908. He was a member of the community of the abbey of Pannonhalma and faculty member of the International College S. Anselmo, Rome. He was procurator general of his order in Rome.


Pope Pius XI appointed him Archbishop of Esztergom on 30 November 1927. He was consecrated on 8 January 1928 in the Sistine chapel by Pope Pius XI.


He was made Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio in the consistory of December 19, 1927. He was a senator in the parliament of Hungary by his own right. He participated in the conclave of 1939 that elected Pope Pius XII. He died in Esztergom in 1945 while still in office.


He served in Hungary's Upper Chamber of Parliament and voted in favour of antisemitic legislation first passed in 1938.[1] In 1938 Serédi hosted an Ecumenical Congress along with the future Pius XII.[2] In 1939, after the September Invasion of Poland by Germany, at least 150,000 Polish refugees, both civilians and military, found sanctuary in Hungary, and the refugees included thousands of Polish Jews. Responding to the crisis, cardinal Serédi helped organize service for the refugees, ordering Hungarian Church officials to get actively involved in the religious and charitable services in the Polish refugee camps, among others he was instrumental in organizing a school and foster home for the Jewish children, eventually saved through the efforts of Henryk Sławik and his Polish and Hungarian associates. He is said to have quoted John 4:18 "timor non est in caritate sed perfecta caritas foras mittit timorem quoniam timor poenam habet qui autem timet non est perfectus in caritate," when referring to his Polish and Jewish wards. In the spring of 1944 he issued a statement condemning the attacks on, discrimination against and deportation of the Jews on racial grounds.[3] Serédi also worked to try to get Catholic Jews exempted from deportation and death, but was only able to get the rule to apply to those who were priests, monks or nuns.[4] In April 1944 Serédi protested the treatment of Jews by the Nazis in Hungary.[5] On the other hand, he did not make any public condemnation available to Catholics inside Hungary against the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.[citation needed] On June 29, 1944, he decided against issuing a pastoral letter clarifying the view of the church on this issue.[citation needed]

Serédi's leading the Hungarian church in opposition to the attack on the Jews[citation needed] led to the arrest of two bishops and several priests and nuns. One of the bishops arrested by the Nazis was József Mindszenty.[6]


  1. ^ Michael Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965, p.13
  2. ^ "Eucharist in Budapest". Time Magazine. 1938-06-06. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  3. ^ Goldhagen v. Pius XII Archived 2013-10-15 at the Wayback Machine at www.catholiceducation.org
  4. ^ Bartov, Omer. In God's Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century. p. 233-234
  5. ^ "Cardinal Appeals for Jews" in New York Times, April 27th, 1944, p. 5
  6. ^ Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission | June 2003 | Articles | It Was Cold, by Martin Mazloom Archived 2008-06-21 at the Wayback Machine at www.losangelesmission.com
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
János Csernoch
Archbishop of Esztergom
30 November 1927 – 29 March 1945
Succeeded by
József Mindszenty