Admired by his friends
Stephen Sandor was born in Szolnok, in Hungary, on 26 November 1914 son of Stephen and Maria Fekete, first of three brothers. His father worked with the State Railways, and the mother at home. Both gave their children a deep religious spirit. Stephen studied in the city gaining a diploma in metallurgy. As a youngster he was admired by his friends, and was happy, serious and gentle. He liked hanging around with his friends, and was a leader amongst them, like John Bosco was for the young people of Chieri. He helped his younger brothers to study and pray, giving them his own example. He was fervent at the time of his Confirmation and promised to imitate St Peter, whose name he took for Confirmation.
Came to know about Don Bosco through the Salesian Bulletin
Each day he served Mass at the Franciscans and received Communion. Reading the Salesian Bulletin he came to know about Don Bosco. He immediately felt attracted by the Salesian charism. He spoke to his spiritual director, expressing a desire to enter the Salesian Congregation. He spoke to his parents about it. They did not give permission and sought to dissuade him. But Stephen ended up convincing them, and in 1936 he was accepted at the Clarisseum, where he made an aspirantate of two years. He completed a course in how to be a printer at the “Don Bosco” Printery. He began his novitiate but it was interrupted by military service.
In 1939 he began to complete his novitiate and made his first vows on 8 September 1940. Asked to go to the Clarisseum, he immediately began to teach technical courses. He was also assistant at the Oratory, something he did competnetly and enthusiastically. He fostered the Young Catholic Workers. His group was recognised as the best in the Movement. Following Don Bosco’s example, he became a model teacher. In 1942 he was called back to the Front, and earned a silver medal of military valour. He made a festive oratory out of the trenches encouraging his young friends in a Salesian style.
At the end of the Second World War he involved himself in rebuilding society morally and materially, especially in the case of poor young people whom he gathered around him in order to teach them a trade. On 24 July 1946 he made his perpetual profession as a Salesian Brother. In 1948 he gained the title of Master Printer. Stephen’s students, when they compelted their studies, were employed by the best printeries in the State and in the city.
Cause of martyrdom
A period of persecution of Catholic schools began, and they had to close. Stephen was working in the printery, but he had to escape and hide in Salesian Houses, working under a false name in public Printeries.
In July 1952 he was arrested while working, and his confreres never saw him again. His Cause of martyrdom was opened at Budapest on 24 May 2006.
Life of Stephen Sandor: Life of Stephen Sandor – Salesian Brother from Hungary
Information about the celebrations of the rite of beatification
Saturday, 19th October 2013 Beatification of Br Stephen Sandor in Budapest
- 9:30 a.m. – In the square in front of the Cathedral, the celebration of the rite of beatification of the Servant of God Stephen Sándor. Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary, will preside, in the presence of about 40 bishops, the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, and several members of the General Council of the Salesians. The celebration will be streamed live on: http://www.dunatv.hu/musor/elo
- 2:30 p.m. – Young people’s celebration organized by the Salesian Youth Movement
Find out more about Salesians around the World: www.sdb.org