Szombathely natives enjoyed St. Martin Festival 

Author: Rita Gombás, Szombathely

Szombathely is the city of St. Martin, a worthy bearer of his heritage, a source of fruitful cooperation in culture and tourism.

Saint Martin became a saint as the bishop of Tours in a distance of 1500 km from his birthplace, however, his intellectual impact was determining in the emergence of Christian Hungary. His teachings were accepted in his homeland and he has been respected as one of their greatest saints for a thousand years. The founder of our state, King Stephen painted the image of St. Martin, the brave soldier on his banners. Besides the Holy Virgin, Martin became the patron of the country. St. Martin’s city of birth, Szombathely has preserved his cult and cherished the traditions connected to him since the Middle Ages. The first bishop of the Diocese of Szombathely chose him the patron of the diocese.

After the transition St. Martin’s heritage acquired significance again of which the city of Szombathely can be justly proud. Obviously, the city where the saint - who is well-known throughout Europe - was born, has always paid great attention to the saint of self-sacrificing sharing and giving. However, 1700 years after St. Martin’s birth Szombathely should integrate this intangible, tangible and architectural heritage to a greater extent in the cultural, social and public life as well as the tourism of the city as they are the most important representatives of St. Martin’s legacy.

As a result of the above mentioned ideas and thanks to the cooperation of the city and the Diocese of Szombathely as well as of several non-governmental organizations, the large-scale series of events will be arranged this year again providing the opportunity for the citizens to celebrate the Saint Martin Festival in an appropriate way. The programmes will take place in the city between November 6 and November 18 2018 and we can choose from sacral, arts, family and gastronomic events. Sacred music concerts, a book presentation on the life of the saint, a holy mass, an adventure playground leading through the stages of St. Martin’s life and the well-known vesper are included in the programme brochure amongst others. We should not forget about one of the most significant social events of the city, the St. Martin Awards Gala where the community wishes to thank the experts who with their outstanding performance in their life and profession have contributed to Szombathely becoming a more attractive and lovable place to live.

The major venues of the festive events are primarily the city locations connected with St. Martin’s life, so the Cathedral and the St. Martin’s church but also the cultural institutions and public squares of the city.