THE HERITAGE OF SAINT LADISLAUS
The cult of Saint Ladislaus, which is still alive today, already began when the king died. From his childhood, the miraculous signs of God accompanied the man chosen to rule and defend European Christian values, who in his death became an instrument of God’ judgments. People devoted themselves and prayed to him to be an intermediary for his people in the heavens. At his request, his corpse was laid to rest in the cathedral he had founded in Oradea, but his arrival was guided by the heavens, and the long line of healings began on the day of his burial.
The presence of Saint Ladislaus in Oradea during the Middle Ages raised the city to the forefront of Europe, which became a place of pilgrimage even before the sanctification of the king in 1192, making Oradea one of the main pilgrimage sites in Hungary and Europe, where bishops and kings met and were buried. In Oradea we can find the tomb of Saint Stephen, the Hungarian founder of the Premonstratensians, or Beatrix of Luxembourg, the wife of Charles Robert, but also the Hungarian queen Maria d’Anjou along her imperial husband, Sigismund of Luxembourg. The fate of the reliquaries holding Saint Ladislaus’s head, arm and foot was very precarious during the Middle Ages, as fire and earthquake destroyed both the Oradea Cathedral and its treasury, and then the Cathedral and the saint tomb were ravaged during the rise of protentatism in the 16th century, and the relics were scattered in Hungary and several cities in Europe. Bishop Demeter of Náprágy escorted the second reliquary holding Saint Ladislaus’s head to Győr on an adventurous journey. A piece of it was returned to Oradea in 1775, courtesy of Bishop Ferenc Zichy of Győr, and Bishop Lőrinc Schlauch of Oradea had a hermine worthy of it, which has been carried in a procession among the numerous faithful on the occcasion of Saint Ladislaus’s feast since the change of regime.