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St. Stefan Pongracz

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Birth: 1582
Death: 1619
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Stefan Pongracz (1582 - September 8, 1619) - the holy Catholic Church, monk, priest, the victim of religious persecution Thirty Years' War, one of the Martyrs of Kosice.

He came from a noble family and was born in the castle Alvinc lying in Transylvania. After graduating from the Jesuit college in Cluj, at age of twenty, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Brno and has studied theology and philosophy in Prague and Graz. After ordination to the priesthood and the teaching practice in Klagenfurt and Ljubljana in 1615, he began pastoral work, which he agreed with the duties of a lecturer in college in Humenné. The outbreak of war found Stefan Pongracza in the performance of missionary activity in the village of Saros. He went to Kosice and together with Mark led the eight-day retreat Križ. Despite being drawn up by the defense of the imperial governor Doczy Calvinists revolted by local branches have opened the city gates against Bethlen Gabor troops led by George Rakoczy. The initial intention to murder all the local Catholics was limited to sentencing to death the priests residing in the city. On the night of 7 to 8 September, imprisoned priests tried to convince them to apostasy, and were subjected to torture. Stefan Pongracz survived twenty hours of torture but died in agony.


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