Pannonhalma, Abbey of
PANNONHALMA, ABBEY OF
Archabbey and center of the Hungarian benedictines (Mártonhegy, Martinsberg, Mons sacer Pannoniae ). The foundation, near Györ (Raab), was initiated by Duke Géza in 996 and completed in 1101 under King St. stephen by monks from Brevnov in Bohemia. An abbey nullius with all the privileges of monte cassino, it was the chief agent of Hungary's conversion to Christianity and throughout the Middle Ages was a center of learning and culture, as well as the scene of political events. After organizing the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation in 1512 and becoming an archabbey in 1514, it was for a century a bastion that resisted the Turkish invasion. joseph ii secularized it (1786) but Francis I restored it (1802). From then until World War II it was engaged in secondary education and headed the congregation, which, incorporating the abbeys of Bakonybél, Tihany, Dömölk, and Zalavár and administering 25 parishes and 8 gymnasia, had about 300 priest monks. In 1948 the Communist government secularized the possessions of the congregation. The monastery has a valuable library and is rich in cultural monuments. Hungarian Benedictines have settled in Brazil and California.
Bibliography: l. erdÉlyi, A Pannonhalmi Szent-Benedekrend története, 14 v. (Budapest 1902–16). t. von bogyay, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:125.
[l. j. lekai]