The Jesuit Mission. The Small Church in Mezőkövesd
by László Varga
This is about the Small Church in Mezőkövesd, that is located on the site of the once Lake Kavicsos, now without a tower and abandoned. This church, led by the apostles of the founder religious order The Society of Jesus, has helped to flourish religious, cultural and social lives of the local people.
It is the duty of the people who once lived here, to capture the spirit of the church community, and to pass it onto the offspring.
Based on the constitution of the order by Ignatius Loyola, the foundation of ‘ the Society of Jesus’ was approved by Pope Paul III on 27 September, 1540. The approval document can be found in the papal bull beginning with the Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae. This collection, which appears 470 years after the foundation, gives the brief general history of the Jesuit religious order.
Their missionary work led them to Mezőkövesd, where their dedicated work resulted in a fine example of a radiating religious community.
Remembrance is just being appropriate. In 2009, the Hungarian Province of the Society of Jesus was 100 years old. This is time for Mezőkövesd to remember, too. Remember with those, who are still able to recall the blessed times of the Heart of Jesus Church and Jesuit Monastry, and to teach those with lack of knowledge or age, what religious, moral and cultural development it meant, the dedicated work of the Jesuits at the time, and where its vitaliy has been rooted ever since.
The foundation stone of the Small Church was laid in 1922. The church was consecrated on 21st January , 1923 and was opened. The Hungarian Jesuit Order operated for a total of 28 years. In 1950 it was eliminated and persecuted by the communist regime.
What would be the case, if the Jesuits could have been active over this past hundred years in Mezőkövesd – one might wonder.
The Jesuit order has been unable to strengthen ever since, there are very few consecrated priests and brothers to help. Operating the Little Church could not be undertaken after the regime change in 1989. The building itself was demolished, the congreation room is abandened, and the tower was also ruined. The bells were moved into the prominent newly built Heart of Jesus Church tower. Many of us grew up and were nursed on spiritual food inside the walls of this church. It is so sad to see the ruin of the tower-less church and wonder, what is going to happen with this looted and abandoned house of the Lord, that shows a cruel sight of decay at present. This is outrageous. The House of Love and Pray deserves much better care than this ! I know no other church with such a horrid fate!
Once this church was humming with religious zest. People of all ages gathered to attend the mass. Tens of thousands came to attend the Heart of Jesus pilgrimage. Its missionary work spread beyond our borders. Thank God! The manuscripts and documents of the Small Church have been survived and can be seen in the History of Jesuit Library in Budapest. These documents form the basis of this present collection, together with the memoirs of witnesses still alive.
Local patriot, Mechanical Engineer, Retired Principal of Industrial Property
The book is available in Hungarian!