PARISH CHURCH “HEART OF JESUS” FROM OROSHAZA

Location: Orosháza, Széchenyi tér, Hungary

Based on the tradition and documents found, in the place of Oroshaza village of today stood four villages with church in the time of Arpad. In 1219 Monor appears in the documents as a village with church. These villages were destroyed by the Mongol invasion in 1241 -1242. Before the Turkish invasion appears again, in different acts, as a village with church with the name of Aroshaza (Oroshaza). The village under Turkish domination was destroyed, and the name of the village has been preserved in the Catholic Church which is in ruins.

After Turkish domination this region became the property of Harrucker. In the repopulated Oroshaza village, besides the evangelical founders, apart from the Catholic landowner there were Catholics among the landowner’s servants, among the Armenian landholders and soldiers. The Catholic parish from Szarvas founded in 1788 served Oroshaza as a branch until 1797.

In 1792 they built from adobe the first small church in honour to the Raising of the Holy Cross. In 1797 the chaplain of Endrod, Kvartek Jozsef was named curate in Oroshaza, and so the individual parish was set on. The civil status register and archive is kept from that date.

The small church built in 1792 proved to be less capacious during the decades, this is why in the time of the curate Jakabbfy Kristóf, in 1832 it was built the church in late Baroque style at a small distance to south-east, also in the honour to the Raising of the Holy Cross. This place served for Catholic Church services until 1922.

In 1913 Molnar Janos was named as Catholic priest of Oroshaza. Due to the revival of the religious life from the beginning of the century and the strengthening of Catholicism, this church proved to be scantier. The curate was strengthened in his plan by the bishop of Oradea at that time, the baron Szechenyi Miklos, who during his visit in 1921 offered half million crowns of his private fortune to build the church. (Then, Oroshaza belonged to the Diocese of Oradea).

The church got its current location by an exchange of lands. The cornerstone was laid on 11th June 1921 and the main feast was the Heart of Jesus. The construction has evolved into a fast pace, in 10th of August 1922 was settled the church globe and then the cross on the church tower. The iron cross with two quintals it is at 43.1 m above the ground. The title of the church: THE HEART OF JESUS.

The architectural plans were drawn up by the architects Siegel Albin and Szőts Imre in neo roman style. On their basis the church’s height is 36 meters with a capacity of 1500 people. The total cost was 12.454.268 crowns. The original painting of the main altar that depicts the Heart of Jesus was painted by the baron painter Szechenyi Jeno. This painting was later replaced by the actual sculpture The Heart of Jesus.

The main altar , sculpted and painted ,was the donation of the Canonical Council of Oradea, where were put the relics of Saint Adalbert and Saint Thomas. On the two pedestals of the main altar’s apse stands Saint Joseph and Saint Margaret Alecoque.

In the tower were put three bells: the big bell of 518 kg, the middle bell of 306 kg and the small bell of 147 kg.

In the left transversal nave stands the altar of Saint Rita. The tabernacle of it was part of the altar from home of the bishop Szechenyi. The sculpture depicting Saint Rita was made by the sculpture Vago Gabor from Szeged. On the right stand another secondary altar, where stands the Tyrolean wood sculpture of Holy Virgin Mary Queen of the World, and next to it the statue of Saint Elizabeth from the house of Arpad, and the statue of Saint Emeric.

To the right of the main entrance it is found the statue of Saint Anthony, to the left, the cave of Lourdes with the statue of Virgin Mary and of Saint Bernadette (donation of Selesz Istvan and his wife). A little to the right is the statue of Saint Teresa di Lisieux and at the left the statue of Saint King Ladislaus.

The consecration of the church was made by the canon Brem Lorincz episcopal vicar in 19th of November 1922. (Brem Lorincz died in this village, and lies in the tomb of Alveg). The construction of the church is commemorated by a marble painting on the pillar of the holy water from the right side.

The last wish of the baron bishop Szechenyi Miklos seriously ill, who contributed to the construction, was to be buried in the underground chapel of the new church. The bishop died in 1st of December 1923, but until this day the place for the grave is not finished. For this reason he was buried temporarily in the Kerepesi cemetery, then after finishing the sepulcher was buried in 17th of June 1924. (Since 1926 the “Szechenyi Square” from Oroshaza, bears the name of the bishop). The sepulcher was designed by the architect Siegel Albin, who was placed on the right side of the transversal nave, and the cavity of the tomb extends beneath the transversal nave. Is closed with a plate of black marble, above it is the cross of black marble of Horvath Adorján, and the bright white corpus with the Holy Heart.

On the side of the sepulcher is the second altar of Saint Nicholas, on it is the artistic tryptic with scenes from the life of the Saint, who was made by the artisan Sarosy Endre on the basis of a Saint Nicholas altar from 13th century. The manufacturing was ordered by the widow Spilka Antalné as a gratitude for healing her daughter. In the sanctuary of the church, on the left side, is the altar painting of the former personal chapel of Bishop Széchényi Miklós – Christ crucified. The organ of the church was finished in May 1944, with 2 hands, 24 registers, 1502 tubes, designed and made by the organ factory Rieger Otto from Budapest. At the consecration of 13th of May 1944 the legendary cantor Tóth Ferenc played at it for the first time the papal anthem and the Hungarian anthem.

In 1938 in memory of Saint Stephen and the Eucharistic World Congress the worshippers of the parish have raised a beautiful Pieta on the left side of the Church – in the garden of the Church.

In 1972, on the anniversary of 50 years of existence, the outside of the church was completely renovated. In 1993 the church ended up in a very bad condition. According to the plan of engineering the walls had to be fortified with pillars from the inside, and from the outside with construction. In 24th of August 1993 began the settlement of the construction’s foundation for propping the wall, which ended up until Christmas. The construction continued in 1994 and then in 1995 under difficult conditions.

In 29th of November 1994 was drawn up a memorial for posterity, which was put into the closing globe of the public hall of the church.

In November 1995 ended the work of the popular artisan Kukla Imre, the carved statue of Saint Ladislaus, that decorates from the exterior the new wing of the building on Ebenezer street side. On 23 November 1996 the final phase of the construction in the place of the prior damaged rosette has been installed the work of the glass artisan Kovacs Keve.

Until in November 1997 it was over the colored glass image of the two windows from the right and left side of the main altar.

In the wing of the building raised on the Elod Street side was opened a store of worship objects, and also here was arranged a cemetery with niches for the urns in 2002.

On 31st of October 2004 took place the inauguration, the benediction of the commemorative plate of the protopope Kallo Ferenc on the frontage at the left of the main entry, and in 19th of December the one of Molnar Janos (the builder of the church) at the right of the main entry.

On 17th of July 2005 dr. Domonkos Istvan and his family donated to the church a painting “Divine mercy”, that can be found in the sanctuary on the right side. The painting was benedicted by dr. Katona Istvan auxiliary bishop of Eger.

In March 2008 – after a year and a half work – all the decorative windows of the church’s sanctuary were completed. The four works of art of the glass artisan Kovács Keve depict Jesus’ Resurrection, his ascension to heaven, the sending of the Holy Spirit and the glorification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The colored windows, plumbed, with printed screen have also specific Hungarian reference: the writing that can be seen on them is the enlarged copy of the prayer and the explanation written in the nun monastery that functioned once on the island of Margit.

In 2008 took place the total renovation of the roof.

The works made in 2009: the isolation of the church’s walls, the modernization of the clock tower and vocal control, installing the alarm system, renovation of the fence, modernization of the electrical network of the building.

On 3rd of May 2010 started the interior renovation of the church: was made the sandstone altar and the lectern received from the parish of Gyula, setting the chandeliers received from the chaper of the Saint Gellert Seminary from Szeged, placing the marble paintings with the names of the poets of Oroshaza and of the worshippers benefactors. The entire interior of the church was belayed. New images of Calvary were put in place of the old ones. Eternal flame arrived here from Szentetornya church. In addition to the interior painting of the church it was renovated the main altar, the altar of Mary, Saint Rita, Saint Nicholas, the cave from Lourdes was repainted. On the renewed sits the copper paintings keep the names of the supporting worshippers. It was built a ramp for people with reduced mobility, the windows from both sides of the main nave and at the entrance doors was put tempered glass. For the families with small children it was arranged a room where with the help of a video camera they can watch the church service on a TV.

In 2013 with the support received from the local council, was started the interior renovation of the tower.

In 2014 started the renovation of the 70 years organ which was finished in February 2015 with the support of an EU cross-border financing – led by the local Council of Oradea. Meanwhile in 2014 was completed the commemorative plate donated by the SERRA members, that commemorates the visit of Cardinal Mindszenty József at Oroshaza in 1944.

Other tourist attractions nearby:

  • Evangelical Church (Orosháza, Győri V tér)
  • Orosháza Town Hall (Orosháza, Szabadság tér 4-6)
  • Szántó Kovács János Museum (Orosháza, Dózsa György utca 5)

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