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Oláh, Miklós (Olahus)


Archbishop of Gran (Esztergom), Primate of Hungary, humanist; b. Hermanstadt (Nagyszeben), Hungary, Jan. 10, 1493; d. Pressburg, Hungary (now Bratislava, Czechoslovakia), Jan. 14, 1568. Oláh, of Wallachian descent, was educated at the Chapter School of Varad and as a page at the court of Vladislav II. After ordination in 1516, he served as secretary to George Szatmáry, chancellor, and later archbishop, of Gran. He was also secretary to King Louis II and continued in this position after Louis's death at the battle of Mohács (1526), serving Queen Mary of Hungary. When Mary was appointed regent of the Netherlands by Charles V, Oláh accompanied her (1531) and engaged in diplomatic missions and humanistic studies until 1542, when he returned to Hungary. Oláh also won the friendship of Erasmus. As an official at the court of Ferdinand I, he became royal chancellor and bishop of Agram (1544), bishop of Erlau (1548), and eventually, archbishop of Gran (1553). Oláh, as primate of Hungary, vigorously encouraged Church

reform and opposed Protestant encroachments in Hungary. By frequent visitations, provincial synods, and administrative decrees, Catholicism was strengthened and advanced. Catholic schools and the Jesuits, invited into Hungary (1561), were the principal means of inculcating Catholic beliefs. The decrees of Trent were also employed to revive devotion and zeal. An author of several theological and historical works, including the Ordo et Ritus Ecclesiae Strigoniensis (1560) and Hungaria et Attila (1562), Oláh combined religious conviction and humanist teachings.

Bibliography: t. von bogyay, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 7:113738. d. sinor, History of Hungary (New York 1959).

[p. s. mcgarry]

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