Joseph Mindszenty was born in Hungary on March 29, 1892. He was ordained to the priesthood on the Feast of the Sacred heart of Jesus on June 12, 1915, and was consecrated Bishop of Veszprem on March 25, 1944. From November 27, 1944 to April 20, 1945, he was imprisoned by the Nazis. Pope Pius XII appointed him Archbishop of Esztergom and Primate of Hungary on October 2, 1945. Just a few months later, on February 18, 1946, the Holy Father raised him to the Cardinalate. As Pope Pius XII placed the Cardinal's hat on his head, the Pope said: "Among the thirty-two, you will be the first to suffer the martyrdom whose symbol this red color is."When the Communists arrested Cardinal Mindszenty in Budapest on December 26, 1948, his twenty-three long years of persecution, suffering and enforced isolation began. Throughout his ordeals, he was unwavering in his faith, hope and love of God.
Upon the request of Pope Paul VI, Cardinal Mindszenty departed from his country of Hungary, still occupied by the Communists, on September 29, 1971, and settled in Vienna, Austria. He died there at the age of 83 on May 6, 1975.Today, Cardinal Mindszenty is buried in the Church of the Assumption, the Basilica of Esztergom, Hungary, where pilgrims visit daily and pray for his intercession in their needs.
To the 100 million victims now numbered by The Black Book of Communism, Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty exemplifies the most striking religious witness to the evils of atheistic Communism. His strength and valor in opposing Communism should be honored and remembered as we now venerate St. Maximilian Kolbe and Blessed Edith Stein, Catholic saints of the Nazi Holocaust.