Alvinc, Principality of Transylvania
|Died||7 September 1619|
Kassa, Kingdom of Hungary
(today: Košice, Slovakia)
|Venerated in||Hungary, Catholic Church, Society of Jesus|
|Beatified||15 January 1905, St Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Pius X|
|Canonized||2 July 1995, Košice, Slovakia by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Premonstratensian Church (Kassa)|
Stephen Pongracz was born in Alvincz Castle in Principality of Transylvania, entered the Society of Jesus in 1602, and studied in Bohemia and Austria. He had been ordained for four years when he was sent to Kassa, Kingdom of Hungary, (today Košice, Slovakia) with fellow Jesuit Melchior Grodziecki.
The two Jesuits were working in small towns when they heard the news that a Calvinist army was marching on Kassa in an attempt to expand the territory of Gabriel Bethlen, prince of Transylvania. The two Jesuits returned to Kassa where they were joined by a diocesan priest, Fr. Marko Krizin. The Transylvanian army took control of the city on 5 September 1619, and immediately confined the three priests to the Jesuit residence. Before dawn on 7 September, soldiers broke into their quarters and demanded that they apostatize and accept Calvinism. When the priests refused to do so, the soldiers began to torture them and finally beheaded them.
Veneration and CanonizationEdit
The cause of beatification of the Kassa martyrs began in 1628 and they were finally beatified on 15 January 1905 by Pope Pius X. They were canonized on 2 July 1995 in Košice by Pope John Paul II. Although their feast day is on 7 September, the Jesuits also celebrate a feast day on 19 January, for the Martyrs of the Reformation in Europe.
- "Jesuit saints and blesseds". 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "Cygański Las – Parafia NMP Królowej Świata w Bielsku-Białej". www.parafiacyglas.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- Diocese of Bielsko-Żywiecka
- Calendar from JesuitInstitute.org, retrieved 8 September 2020