Helping Hand

My hands are helping my eyes find the way out of folders of photos that have left me double clicking and uploading into the last few blogs. Very depressing blogs, I’ve written about in Budapest, Hungary. Life isn’t always filled with happy, happy, happy so I must give you drabby, drabby, drabby to balance out my blogging world.

I’ve had my drab fill of balancing out the trip into Hungary so today I will share with you a
happy-drab. This blog is about a King who lent a helping hand, a mummified hand that literally resides in St. Stephens’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary for the world to see.

The very first place we visited, after checking into the apartment in Budapest, was St. Stephen’s Basilica.

It wasn’t because we needed to make a confession or attend Catholic Mass. It wasn’t because the St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Hungary. It was because I told my husband, before planning our trip to Hungary-that the same old song and dance with travel has me a bit bored. You know with just hitting all the tourist sites and seeing all the same stuff that everyone sees while exploring.

The kind of tourist sites that when you Google-“what are the top such and such things to do in such and such country?” Often a million photos of the same tourist destinations are brought up. I want to go into the unknown. I want to see stuff that images on Google are few and far between. I want to see the odd things, the weird things, things that you have to make your way through. Well, St. Stephen’s Basilica, ranks number 11 out of 173 things to see in Budapest. The same song and dance continued to play, on this trip as well, although this tune was far from boring. We certainly made it to a majority of the tourist sites. My husband reminded me that the odd stuff I want to see is off the beaten path and requires weeks and months in a country.

Now if you Google mummified hand in Budapest you will see plenty of photos but it’s not like Googling the Eiffel Tower. It’s not something everyone really wants to see. But the Gibson’s, why yes, yes indeed. I have boys in my home. Since Mayer didn’t get his wish granted to see a mummy while we were in Egypt, he will get to see something mummified on this trip.
It’s not just a hand, but a helping hand.

St. Stephen’s mummified hand is the Hungarian Catholic’s holiest relic. It is also a tourist destination but one not too many of our adventure, site-seeing friends, really have chatted about.
Who is St. Stephen and what is the big deal about his hand?
St. Stephen was the first king of Hungary from 1000-1038 and holds a very dear place in the heart of the Hungarians .He established Christianity in Hungary. With no heirs, on his death bed St. Stephen held up the Royal Crown of Hungary with his right hand and begged the Virgin Mary to find someone good enough to take his place. Rumor has it that after his death, his right hand did not decompose like the rest of him. Taking this as a heavenly sign, the hand was removed from his body and kept as a holy relic.

If you would like to see his hand, you enter the basilica and go towards the back. Make sure you have forint on you. Hungary is not on the euro and there are plenty of places to exchange the currency you operate on back home. The forint is equivalent to a dollar. You will need this so you can put it into a slot and have the light come on to reveal his hand that is locked away.

There is no flash photography but you’re able to snap away until your heart is content. The light goes off after about a minute or so but more funds in and you can extend your viewing time.

Thank you St. Stephen for bringing a message of light, Jesus, into a very dark world. After the last few days of revisiting a dark time in Budapest, the light is brightly shining in my mind today. It’s blinding out the darkness of drab that likes to come into my path. Jesus is so faithful at bringing all sorts of helping hands into our lives. He also turns the path of drabby, drabby, drabby, into happy, happy, happy when you find things you don’t see everyday!


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