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Servant of God János Esterházy

Date of birth into heaven: 13 May 1933

Count János Esterházy was born on 14 March 1901 in Veľké Zálužie (aka Nyitraújlak) in an aristocratic family. He went into politics in the mid-1920s: he defended the interests and represented the rights of the Hungarian national minority living in the historical Upper Hungary—which had become part of Czechoslovakia in November 1918—, when the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had already been dissolved.

Esterházy János


He became a member of the parliament of Czechoslovakia as president of the Provincial Christian-Socialist Party. Leveraging his personal and family contacts—his father was a member of the Hungarian Esterházy family and his mother came from a Polish aristocratic family—, during World War II he provided assistance to Polish refugees who were seeking refuge in the Western countries after passing through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. In recognition of his courageous brotherly assistance to the persecuted Poles, in 2009, Polish president Lech Kaczyński posthumously conferred on him the Order of Polonia Restituta.

During the war, János Esterházy provided continuous support to the persecuted Slovaks and Jews as well. In 1942, he voted against the deportation of the Jews in the Slovak parliament. After the war, he was sentenced to forced labour in Siberia by the Soviet secret service. He was released three years later, only because in the meantime the Czechoslovak government had sentenced him to death on the grounds of false allegations of collaboration with the German fascist regime. Under pressure from the public opinion, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. János Esterházy died in 1957 in the Mirov prison as a consequence of the inhumane circumstances and treatment he had suffered. He was buried in a mass grave. His mortal remains were found sixty years after his death, and he was finally laid to rest on 16 September 2017 in the Chapel of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Dolné Obdokovce (aka Alsóbodok).

In July 2018, the archbishop of Olomouc (Czech Republic) waived his territorial competence in Esterházy’s beatification and canonisation process, therefore, the Archdiocese of Kraków was authorised to conduct the diocesan inquiry, which is currently ongoing. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has already approved the initiation of his process in Poland, therefore, we can ask for the intercession of this martyr and Servant of God.

Protocol number:  3409

Diocesan inquiry

Competent forum: Archdiocese of Kraków
Competent bishop:   Marek Jędraszewski
Postulator:  Paveł Cebula    OFM Conv.




Diocesan inquiry:
Inquiry of the Holy See (CCS)

Decree on the validity of the diocesan inquiry:
Promulgation of papal decree on martyrdom:
Promulgation of papal decree on miracle:

Let us pray for his beatification!                  

O God, merciful Father, your Son Jesus glorified you in the very hour when he was exalted on the Cross, when he committed himself totally into your hands and poured out the Holy Spirit on his faithful, thus opening the source of mercy and reconciliation.
We give you thanks for your faithful servant János Esterházy, who wanted to follow Christ with an undivided heart by abandoning himself to your will and serve all men, regardless of their origin. His life was an example of truth and love made manifest in words and in deeds, as well as in the way he accepted the crosses and the sacrifice of his life, which he offered up for his persecutors.
Merciful God, glorify your name through the beatification of your servant János, so that the example of his Christian life, as well as his suffering and death may give the nations of Central Europe strength for fulfilling your saving will, following Christ and continuing his mission, in union with him in the Eucharist, under the motherly protection of Our Lady, Queen of Peace.
O God, through the intercession of your servant János, give us the grace of [...], and pour your Holy Spirit, increase the faith, hope and charity in the families, Christian communities and the nations, especially in Central Europe, so that reconciled with you and with each other in you, we may carry out our mission courageously, recovered from the wounds of the past and spreading the kingdom of your merciful love, which is the only true source of eternal life and happiness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Those who obtain favours through his intercession are asked to notify the
ul. Franciszkańska 3,
31-004 Kraków

Further information: