László Batthyány-Strattmann

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László Batthyány-Strattmann
Batthyany Strattmann Laszlo dij plakett.jpg
Blessed
Born October 28, 1870
Dunakiliti, Austria-Hungary
Died January 22, 1931
Vienna, Austria
Honored in
Catholic Church
Beatified March 23, 2003, Vatican by Pope John Paul II
Feast January 22

The Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann (German: Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann; born October 28, 1870 in Dunakiliti, Austria-Hungary, died January 22, 1931 in Vienna, Austria) was a Hungarian aristocrat and physician. A devout Catholic, he became known as the "doctor of the poor" and was beatified by the church in 2003.

Early life[edit]

László Batthyány - Strattmann was born on 28 October 1870 in Dunakiliti, Hungary, into a very old Hungarian aristocratic family, the sixth of ten brothers. The family moved to Austria in 1876. His childhood was marred by the fact that his father left his family and converted to Protestantism in order to marry another woman.[1] Ladislaus' mother died when he was twelve years old.

According to the will of his father, he first prepared himself to care for the vast property of the Batthyánys. He first studied agriculture in Vienna, later also a great number of other subjects, including chemistry, philosophy and music. In this chaotic period in his life, he also fathered an illegitimate daughter.[2]

Career and family[edit]

Batthyány became a student of medicine in 1896, and obtained his degree in 1900.[3] He trained as a general practitioner, but soon specialized in surgery and later, in ophthalmology. This period was also accompanied by a renewal of his religious faith. At this time, he met Countess Maria Theresia Coreth zu Coredo und Starkenberg, a devout Roman Catholic, whom he married on November 10, 1898 in Vienna. The couple had 13 children.

In 1902 Batthyány opened a private hospital with twenty-five beds, in Kittsee, Austria.[3] working as a general practitioner, later specializing as a surgeon and oculist. During the First World War, the hospital was enlarged to wounded soldiers for treatment.

In 1915, Batthyány and his family moved to the castle of Körmend in Hungary, which he had inherited upon the death of his uncle;[3] he also inherited the title "Prince" (German: Fürst/Hungarian: herceg) and the additional last name "Strattmann". Here, he practised as a devoted doctor, becoming known for treating poor patients for free, which gained him the name "doctor of the poor". Batthyány turned a wing of the castle into a hospital for ophthalmology.

Death[edit]

At the age of 60, Batthyány was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and admitted to the Löw sanatorium in Vienna. After fourteen months of illness, he died in January 1931.

Beatification[edit]

The beatification process was begun in 1944 as a joint effort of the Archbishop of Vienna (Austria) and the bishop of Szombathely (Hungary). The process became forgotten for some time afterwards, before it was taken up again in 1982 due to the initiative of the bishop of Eisenstadt (Austria), Stefan László. On July 11, 1992, László Batthyány-Strattmann was declared a Venerable - a necessary step for beatification. He was beatified on March 23, 2003 by Pope John Paul II. Five years later, on March 23, 2008, the fifth anniversary of his beatification, the Dr. Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann confraternity of prayer for the canonization of the poor’s doctor was invested by the archbishop of Vienna Christoph Cardinal Schönborn as a private association, being entitled under the justification of canon law.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cf. Dirnbeck, Geöffnete Augen, p. 35
  2. ^ Dirnbeck, p. 36
  3. ^ a b c "László Batthyány-Strattmann, M.D. (1870-1931)", Vatican News Service
Hospital in Kittsee, Austria, named after Batthyány-Strattmann

Further reading[edit]

  • Josef Dirnbeck: Geöffnete Augen. Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann und sein Leben als "Arzt der Armen". Güssing 2003. ISBN 3-9500984-1-0
  • Rudolf Kroyer: Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann - EIn Leben im Dienste Gottes und der Menschen. Eisenstadt 1986/1999
  • Erzsébet Pálffy-Batthyány: Batthyány-Strattmann László ferences herceg. Budapest 1931
  • Mária Puskely: Dr. Batthyány-Strattmann László. 1870-1931. Dokumentált életrajz. Budapest 2001

External links[edit]