Szent Gellért

The informant is a 20 year old girl who grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. Her mother is Italian and her father is Hungarian. Much of her family still lives in Budapest, Hungary, so she occasionally goes back to visit.  On one visit, she toured a place called Gellért Hill.

Informant: The hill was named after Szent Gellért (Saint Gerard).  He was a martyr in the middle ages. The first king of Hungary was Saint Stephen. Saint Stephen was great, and he brought Christianity to Hungary.  But after Saint Stephen passed away, people didn’t accept Christianity as much and tried to revolt against it.  Szent Gellért remained faithful.  Don’t remember who, but some guys put Szent Gellért in this wooden bucket with spikes in it and threw him down the hill.  So now there is this statue there to remember him. He is known as one of the Patron Saints in Hungary.

My analysis: This is one version of tens of legends with the same principle: someone stands up for a belief, gets killed for it, and then is worshipped/cannonized as a saint for it after the fact. Wherever there is a distinct belief, there is a story with a plot line similar to this one.  There are specifically Saint Gerard figures in other countries, such as Italy and Romania.