„It’s not always possible to do what must be done, but we must always do what we can.”
Every October, Pro Cultura Subcarpathica (PCS) organises Bethlen Day. However, the ongoing war this year did not allow for larger-scale events to be organized. Therefore, the organization, along with the Reformed and Roman Catholic congregations of Huszt, held a silent commemoration at the memorial plaque of Ferenc Kölcsey in Huszt on October 9.
The event began with an ecumenical service at the local Reformed church, where Pastor Károly Jenei and Roman Catholic Prefect Sándor Szulincsák delivered sermons. Following this, the attendees moved to the plaque at the foot of Huszt Castle Hill and laid wreaths at the memorial.
Krisztina Molnár, coordinator of PCS, told that Bethlen Day was initiated in 2013 with the aim of preserving traditions on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Gábor Bethlen’s election as prince. Due to the current situation, larger festivals were not possible to organize last year or this year, so they chose to commemorate with a silent ceremony.
István Csernicskó, rector of the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education, emphasized that progress can only be made if a person occasionally looks back and remembers where they come from, making it easier to find the path forward.
As he explained, that’s why we must remember those great individuals who did something, who had an impact, so that the homeland can shine. We believe that by remembering our great ancestors and doing our best in the present, the sky will eventually brighten over both Transcarpathia and Ukraine.
Gábor Bethlen came to the helm of Transylvania on October 23, 1613. Over the course of a decade, he managed to elevate the small principality he inherited into European significance. Until his death in 1629, he not only fought for Transylvania’s independence but also supported culture and education.
In 1622, according to the peace treaty with the emperor, seven Hungarian regions (Szabolcs, Szatmár, Ugocsa, Bereg, Zemplén, Borsod, Abaúj), as well as the castles of Tokaj, Munkács, and Ecsed, came under his possession. He also had a castle built in Beregszász in the year of his death. During Gábor Bethlen’s reign, both Transylvania and the surrounding region were flourishing.