dimanche 20 mars 2016

Bienheureux MAURICE CSAKY, religieux dominicain

Bienheureux Maurice Csaky

( 1336)

Il appartenait à la maison royale de Hongrie et, quelques années après son mariage, sa femme et lui furent d'accord pour se séparer. Il entra chez les dominicains et sa femme se fit aussi religieuse. Ils n'ont été ni béatifiés, ni canonisés. Son procès de canonisation était en cours et devait se conclure au concile de Ferrare, mais fut interrompu par l'invasion turque qui détruisit son tombeau à Gyor en 1438. Ce qui n'empêche pas les Hongrois de les honorer d'un culte très officiel.

Blessed Maurice Csaky, OP (PC)

(also known as Blessed Maurice of Hungary)

Died 1336. Maurice, Prince of Hungary, was persecuted by his father-in-law for his desire to remain in the Dominican Order. He was born into the royal house of Hungary. There had been many heavenly signs before his birth that he was to be an unusual favorite of God, but for the first few years of his life he was so sickly that no one believed he would survive. By the time he was five, he was a delicate, dreamy child who played at saying Mass and leading family prayers. The little chapel in his father's castle was his favorite haunt, and he was always to be found there between sessions in the schoolroom.

When he was still quite small, an old Dominican came one day to visit his parents, and took a great fancy to the handsome little boy. He told the child the story of Saint Alexis, which greatly impressed him. When Maurice knelt to ask the old priest's blessing, the Dominican said prophetically, "This child will one day enter our holy Order and will be one of its joys."

In spite of the several indications that God had designs on Maurice, circumstances conspired against him. His parents died when he was still quite young, leaving him immensely wealthy and solely in charge of his father's estates. A brother, who had entered the Dominican novitiate, died very young. Relatives prevailed upon Maurice to marry. Against all his wishes, he did so.

However, he and his young wife, the daughter of the Count of Palatine, made a vow of continence, and both resolved to became Dominicans as soon as it was possible to dispose of the estates. When his wife fled to the Isle of Margaret in the Danube, and took the veil in Saint Margaret's convent, her father was furious. He went in search of the young husband and found that he, too, had gone to the Dominicans. He settled the matter in the forthright fashion of the times by kidnapping Maurice and locking him in a tower. Here, like another Thomas Aquinas, the young novice settled down to wait until someone tired of the arrangement.

After three months of unfruitful punishment, Maurice was released as incorrigible, and his relatives devoted their attention to getting hold of his estates instead. He went happily off to Bologna to complete his studies, where he remained for three years.

For 32 years, Maurice ignored the throne and the luxuries of the world to live in obscurity and poverty. The picture of him left us by the chroniclers is an engaging one: an earnest, pious priest who made no effort to capitalize on his birth or social graces; a zealous addict of poverty, who managed, by a series of sagacious trades, to have the oldest habit in the house and the dreariest cell. He is said to have said the whole Psalter daily, plus the Penitential Psalms, and the Litany of the Saints.

A number of curious stories are told about him. Once, when he was staying with a Benedictine friend, the friend noticed that he went in and out of locked doors with no trouble at all, and that the rooms lighted up by themselves when he entered. Maurice is supposed to have had the gift of prophecy. A relative of his had cheated the sisters out of some property that Maurice had left them. Maurice told him that the goods would be taken away from him, and that another man, more generous, would give it back to the sisters. The man died shortly thereafter, and the prophecy was fulfilled.

After Maurice's death at least two miracles of healing were reported at his grave: one was a cure from fever, another from blindness. Butler's Lives of the Saints lists him as "Blessed Maurice" and he is still venerated in Hungary, although his cultus has never been formally approved (Attwater2, Benedictines, Dorcy). 

March 20


MAURICE CSAKY belonged to the royal Hungarian dynasty, his father being count of Csak, but the exact place of his birth is not known. From childhood he was seriously disposed, and loved to hear and read the lives of the saints, and he wished to enter a monastery; but his aspirations were overruled, and at the age of twenty he was married to the daughter of the Palatine Prince Amadeus. His bride was in every way worthy of him, and they were tenderly attached to each other; but after some years they agreed to part and to retire into the cloister. Maurice chose the Order of Preachers, and entered the friary on the island of St Margaret. The step taken by the young couple created a great sensation, and Ladislaus, governor of Buda, actually caused Maurice to be imprisoned for five months to test his resolution. He emerged from captivity with his intention unshaken, but his superiors in the order thought it wise to transfer him from Hungary to Bologna. Later the young friar returned to his own country as an emissary of peace. So eager was he to avert strife that he would rush in between combatants and exhort them to come to terms. When he was appointed sacristan he made this office an opportunity for almost unbroken devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. A great love for the poor was another characteristic of a singularly winning personality. Maurice died at Raab and was buried in the monastery of Javarin.

A Latin Life of Bd Maurice is printed by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii. See also F. Kaindl in Archiv f. österreichische Geschichte, vol. xci (1902), pp. 53-58. Although there seems never to have been any formal beatification or confirmotio cultus, Bd Maurice is, or at any rate was, honoured liturgically in his native country.