Prince Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931)
?I love my profession, the patients taught me to love God more and more, and I love God in the patients, and the patients help me more than I help them! (…) I can give them so much love, as love is what the poor patients yearn for. I pray to God that I can help many people for His glory. Thus I can console them, and open their heart to You!?
László Batthyány-Strattmann came from the ?Count? branch and within that the Pinkafő subbranch of the family. The man who wrote these words in his diary in 1926 grew up in the shadow of personal traumas and tragedies. He was the child of József György Batthyány II (1836-1897) and Ludovika Batthyány (1843?1882). Many of Ludovika?s children died young, and the father who became estranged from his wife had several relationships outside his marriage. In 1879 Ludovika was informed by the newspaper that his husband (already as a Lutheran) married the lady?s companion of his mother, the much older Antónia Kornis. Shortly after the event, Ludovika died, at the age of 38. In his teenage years, László attended a Jesuit gymnasium in Kalksburg, near Vienna. He was a problematic student, the concoctions he prepared for his fellow students that made them sick before the exams already revealed his medical inclination. In 1885, he studied in Kalocsa, but as he was expelled from the school due to his impertinence, he had to take his final exams at Ungvár. He attended the University of Vienna; he applied to the Faculty of Humanities in 1893, without a clear idea. From a superficial relationship, he had a child in 1896. Presumably this was what really shook him and made him choose medical studies. He took care of the mother and the child (who became a teacher) until the end of his life. His father died in 1897, and László was present at his deathbed and they were reconciled. He obtained a degree at the University of Medicine in 1900. In 1898, he married the strongly religious Countess Maria Theresia Coreth. After the wedding, they had several children. Their first daughter, Mizike, died in 1905, when she was only 4 years old. László Batthyány turned into a devout Catholic because of the grief. Immediately after finishing his medical studies, he opened a private hospital in Köpcsény, and specialized for ocular surgery. He performed surgery on his poorer patients free, therefore the doctor?s office became increasingly popular. In 1903, the patients had already a special train that carried them to the doctor. Until the end of his life, he performed around 30 thousand ocular surgeries. In 1915, with royal approval, he inherited the title of ?Prince?, and both the Strattmann fideicommissum and name after the death of Ödön Batthyány-Strattmann (1826-1914), the son of Gusztáv Batthyány. Together with his wife and his son, Ödön, he joined the Third Order Secular of St. Francis in 1916. He aimed to mitigate the hardships of the First World War with his devoted work, for which he was awarded with the Red Cross Decoration First Class badge. He left Köpcsény after the Treaty of Trianon had annexed it to Austria, and opened the new hospital at the family?s traditional home in Körmend. Pope Saint John Paul II beatified the Prince who took care of the patients? spiritual health as well in 2003. He changed the motto in the family?s crest. The simple sentence represents perfectly his personality that changed the fate of the family. ?Fidelitate et caritate? meaning: with fidelity and love. All the living members of the Batthyány family today are the descendants of his 12 children.
Gábor, Tillai: Dr. Batthyány-Strattmann László, 1-7., Hetedhéthatár, 2004, január 9.
Boldog Batthyány-Strattmann László, Magyar Kurír, 2018, január 22.
Mária, Puskely: Batthyány hercegorvos, Ősök, elődök, kortársak, utódok körében, Szombathely. 2014