Saint of the Day – 12 November – Saint Astricus of Esztergom (Died c 1035) Archbishop of Esztergom, the first Archbishop of the Hungarian Church, Confessor, Monk, Abbot, Missionary, Born in Bohemia as Radla and died in c 1035 of natural causes. Patronage – Hungary. Also known as – Astricus of Ungarn, Anastasius XIX, Astericus Anastasius, Astrik of Pannonhalma, Ascrick, Astericus, Astrik-Anastaz, Radla.
Radla was a Czech or Croat from Bohemia, who was a Monk in Hungary. He probably received the habit at Brevnov, taking the name of Anastasius, of which Astricus is the equivalent. Astricus accompanied Saint Adalbert in the latter’s missionary work to the Bohemians and became the first Abbot of Břevnov Monastery. When Adalbert failed to consolidate his position in Bohemia and left Prague, Astricus went to the Kingdom of Hungary to help the missionaries among the Magyars.
He first served the wife of Duke Géza. In 997 Astricus became the first Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of St Martin’s, the first ecclesiastical institution in Hungary, founded by Duke Géza. He then served Géza’s son, who was the great Saint Stephen I of Hungary and became the first Archbishop of the Hungarian Church.
Astricus served as Stephen’s Ambassador to Pope Sylvester II and negotiated the recognition of the new Kingdom of Hungary The Pope recognised Stephen as King of the Hungarians. Soon after Astricus’ return bringing the Crown with hin, Stephen was crowned by him, with the royal crown sent by Pope Sylvester, granted no doubt at the instance of the Emperor Otto III, in 1001. Astricus fulfilled the role of the Advisor to St Stephen on matters of spirit and of state until Stephen‘s death. He outlived the King and Saint by two years and spent those last days as a prayerful Monk.
The Assumption Cathedral of Kalocsa was extensively restored between 1907 and 1912. Under the Sanctuary, a red marble archiepiscopal tomb was excavated in 1910 in the place of the original 11th-century Cathedral. In addition to the intact skeleton, a gilded silver-headed crosier, a silver chalice, paten, golden rings, crosses, pallium with three jeweled gold pins and textile remnants were found. After many investigations these relics were confirmed as belonging to our Saint Astricus.