Saints of the Day – Ladislaus I of Hungary, King

detail of a statue of Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary; by Laszlo Schwalm in 1995; garden of the Bishop's Palace, Székesfehérvár, Hungary; photographed in August 2005 by Arpad Horvath; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(also known as Lancelot, Lalo, Laszlo)

Born in Neustra, Hungary, July 29, 1040; died at Nitra, Bohemia, July 29, 1095; canonized in 1192 by Pope Celestine III. Laszlo of the house of Arpad, son of King Bela, was elected king of Hungary in 1077 by the nobles. He followed in the footsteps of Saint Stephen I of Hungary. Immediately he was faced with the claims of a relative and son of a former king, Solomon, to the throne, and defeated him on the battlefield in 1089. He developed the power of his young kingdom. He fought just and successful wars against Poles, Russians, and the Tartars.

Laszlo supported Pope Gregory VII in his investiture struggle against Emperor Henry IV, and Rupert of Swabia, Henry’s rival. Laszlo married Adelaide, daughter of Duke Welf of Bavaria, one of Rupert’s supporters. While Laszlo encouraged Christian missionaries and fostered Christianity within his dominions, he allowed religious freedom to the Jews and Islamics within his realm.

He was distinguished personally for the justness of his rule and the virtue of his life. In 1091, Laszlo marched to the aid of his sister, Helen, Queen of Croatia, against the murderers of her husband. When she died childless, he extended the boundaries of his kingdom by the annexation of Croatia and Dalmatia despite objections from the pope, the emperor in Constantinople, and Venice.

In 1092 at the Synod of Szabolcs, Laszlo promulgated a series of laws on religious and civil matters. He was chosen to lead the armies of the first crusade but before he could go he died. In a sentence, Laszlo was the ideal national hero. He is venerated for his zeal, piety, and moral life. In 1192, his relics were enshrined as those of a saint in the cathedral he had founded at Nagyvarad (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney).

In art, Saint Ladislaus is portrayed as an armored king with a banner bearing a cross and a halberd. He may be shown (1) on a battlefield; (2) attacking a Tarter who is carrying off a lady; (3) between Saints Stephen of Hungary and Emeric; and (4) two angels with swords near him. He is the patron saint of Hungary (Roeder).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 June 2020. Web. 12 July 2020. <>