Reformation worship in Ludovica

2017. november 03., péntek

The reformed and protestant heroes of the First World War were remembered by the Protestant Military Chaplaincy and the Ministry of Defense (MD) on October 17th in the renovated chapel of the Royal Hungarian Ludovica Defense Academy.

“Among the religious movements of the last two millennia, the reformation set in effect changes that still impact faith, politics, art, and economics. Luther and his companions informed church, society, and history, without an understanding of the reformation, we cannot understand the world today. The 500th anniversary of Reformation is an excellent opportunity to better understand what the reformation gave the world, what it gave Europe, what it gave Hungarians, what its role is today, and how the world has been changed by the protestant faith. To give thanks and be strengthened in the living hope - for this we ask for the power of Holy Spirit, which is as necessary today as it was at the time of reformation” said Rev. János Jákob brigadier general and protestant military chaplain.

The Royal Hungarian Ludovica Defense Academy was Hungary's officer cadets training institute prior to 1945. The academy was established at the 1808 National Assembly session. It was named after Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este the Royal Princess and the third wife of Ferenc I King of Hungary.

“God lit a light in the hearts of those confessing ancestors who wanted to continue passing that light through faith,” said lieutenant colonel Sándor Máté, secretary for the bishop, in his sermon based on Romans 1:16-17 and reminded listeners of Martin Luther, who was guided by the Holy Spirit when, the day before All Souls’ Day, he shared his ninety-five theses in Wittenberg. The Reformers did not seek establish a new religion, but wanted to restore the church to its original form the preacher emphasized in his sermon. Sándor Máté gave thanks for those who are not ashamed of the gospel, who the gospel has empowered with the power of God, which can still bring other to faith through those who have already wakened in their faith.

“Should I be ashamed of the Gospel?” The preacher reminded the congregation that Jesus was ridiculed and thought crazy even by his own family. “I’m happy to see soldiers and leaders that are not ashamed of their faith” he added. “The Gospel is still today the power of God for the salvation of all believers, which has been poured out since the time of Apostles as well as the time of Reformation. The same Gospel power passed through the Hungarian nation when they were defeated at the battle of Mohács, which ended in Turkish occupation: the people who received the Gospel of Christ retained this power” said Sándor Máté. He added “The truth of the Gospel comes from faith’s power to awaken the same faith in others’ hearts.”

“This is what the Reformation is about too: now burst to light, post tenebras lux! May God grant that today too, the Gospel will be preached by faith for bringing others to faith!” said the lieutenant colonel.

After the sermon, Gábor Földváry the Deputy State Secretary for Legal and Judicial Matters, handed over the centenary memorial flag dedicated to the heroes of the First World War to Military Chaplain János Jákob as a gift from the Ministry. “The Hungarian nation has hardly made a bigger or more painful sacrifice on the battlefield than it did during the First World War. There was hardly a town or village, where every family was reunited in its original numbers, where every child could return to their father’s lap, where every woman could cry tears of reunited joy on her husband’s shoulder. Five hundred years after the Reformation, it is right and proper to commemorate those, who, like their compatriots of all other denominations, made sacrifices for the same Hungarian homeland, who, in their faith followed the poet Kölcsey, the Bible translator Gáspár Károli, and the poet János Arany’s faith” said Gábor Földváry.  The Deputy Secretary of State, as he expressed his hope that, as frescoes are uncovered from under the plaster of the 11th to 14th century Reformed churches in the Transcibiscan region, that they will remind viewers of their common heritage, that the common Hungarian heritage of the Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, and Unitarian people will also emerge and be recognized.

Military chaplain János Jákob after receiving the flag reminded the audience that there was no winner of the First World War, which claimed 15 million victims and lasted for four years, it was a war started to redraw the boundaries of the world out of greed.

“Everyone has fought his own war, and everyone has lost: those on the front, those who have fallen, those who have been injured, the families that have been left behind, families who have lost their loved ones, the war orphans. The essence of human life has been re-evaluated in millions of people. The days lived in destitution have given people experiences that no people have ever experienced before. This celebratory gesture remembers to that our front-line soldiers were raised in Christian faith, where love of the country and love for the family knit together. There was no question about following commands and fulfilling loyalty, that is how people’s lives ended up in the cogwheels of history” said the military chaplain as he went on to quote the heartbreaking lines of Sándor Csikesz’s letter, written in February 1915: “There is no day that passes without prayer, but on Sundays especially the pastor and the congregation pray with loving hearts to our God for the fighting and suffering soldiers - and for you too.”  “Today memorial plaques provide proof of the feelings and gratitude of these loving hearts.  It is a distinct pleasure for us that these memorials - at least many of them - have been renewed. We shall not forget that the task of slowly rejuvenating national conscience is always our task” the bishop said, and thanked the Deputy State Secretary for the centenarian flag, which "will help the prayerful remembrance".


Written by Zsuzsanna Bagdán

Translated by Csenge Blaschek

Photos by

Edited by Bastian Bouman


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