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László Batthyány-Strattmann

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Prince László Batthyány-Strattmann
Born October 28, 1870, Dunakiliti, Austria-Hungary
Died January 22, 1931, Vienna, Austria
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified March 23, 2003, Vatican by Pope John Paul II
Feast January 22

The Blessed Prince László Batthyány-Strattmann de Németújvár, in German Ladislaus Fürst Batthyány-Strattmann von Güssing, (born October 28, 1870 in Dunakiliti, Austria-Hungary, died January 22, 1931 in Vienna, Austria) was a Hungarian aristocrat and physician. The devout Catholic became known as the "doctor of the poor". He was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 2003.

Early life

Count László Batthyány was born into of a very old Hungarian aristocratic family. His childhood was marred by the fact that his father left his family and converted to Protestantism in order to marry another woman[1]. Ladislaus' mother died when he was only twelve years old.

According to the will of his father, he first prepared himself to care for the vast property of the Batthyánys. He first studied agriculture in Vienna, later also a great number of other subjects, including chemistry, philosophy and music. In this chaotic period in his life, he also fathered an illegitimate daughter[2].

Studies and marriage

His life dramatically changed for the better when he discovered his true professional vocation as a doctor. He became a student of medicine 1896 and finished his studies 1900. This period was also accompanied by a renewal of his religious faith, which made him an especially devout Roman Catholic. At this time, he met Countess Maria Theresia Coreth zu Coredo und Starkenberg ("Misl"), whom he married on November 10, 1898 in Vienna. 13 children were born of this marriage which was reputed to have been exceptionally happy and harmonious.

Serving as a doctor

Batthyány opened a private hospital in Kittsee (today Austria, then Köpcsény in Hungary). He had trained as a general practictioner, but he soon specialized in surgery and later, in ophthalmology.

In 1915, Batthyány moved to the castle of Körmend in Hungary with his family, which he had inherited upon the death of his uncle, together with the title "Prince" (German: Fürst/Hungarian: herceg) and the additional last name "Strattmann". Here, he practised as a devoted doctor, becoming especially famous for treating poor patients for free, which gained him the name "doctor of the poor". Batthyány even turned a wing of the castle into a hospital for ophthalmology. He and his family were also famous for their devout religious life.

Batthyány-Strattmann's harmonious family life was nevertheless not fully devoid of tragedy: his oldest son Ödön (Edmund) died in 1921 at the age of only 21 due to a severe sickness of the bowels.


At the age of 60, Batthyány was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and admitted to the Löw sanatorium in Vienna. After fourteen months of illness, he died in January 1931.


Stages of Canonization in the Roman Catholic Church
  Servant of God   →   Venerable   →   Blessed   →   Saint  

Batthyány-Strattmann had been widely regarded as a saintly man even in his lifetime. The beatification process was begun as a joint initiative of the archbishop of Vienna (Austria) and the bishop of Szombathely (Hungary), in 1944. The process became forgotten for some time afterwards, before it was taken up again in 1982 due to the initiative of the bishop of Eisenstadt (Austria), Stefan László. On July 11, 1992, László Batthyány-Strattmann was declared a Venerable - a necessary step for beatification. He was beatified on March 23, 2003 by Pope John Paul II. Five years later, on March 23, 2008, the 5th anniversary of his beatification, the Dr. Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann confraternity of prayer for the canonization of the poor’s doctor was invested by the archbishop of Vienna Christoph Cardinal Schönborn as a private association being entitled under the justification of canon law. This group is a community of catholic men and women, who aim to orient themselves on a Christian way of life in the Catholic Church. Origin of this ambition is the blessed Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann, whose saintly conduct and commitment to his religious belief, family and profession as a doctor for the poor even today can be a strong appeal to our own life.


  1. Cf. Dirnbeck, Geöffnete Augen, p. 35
  2. Dirnbeck, p. 36


  • Josef Dirnbeck: Geöffnete Augen. Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann und sein Leben als "Arzt der Armen". Güssing 2003. ISBN 3950098410
  • Rudolf Kroyer: Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann - EIn Leben im Dienste Gottes und der Menschen. Eisenstadt 1986/1999
  • Erzsébet Pálffy-Batthyány: Batthyány-Strattmann László ferences herceg. Budapest 1931
  • Mária Puskely: Dr. Batthyány-Strattmann László. 1870-1931. Dokumentált életrajz. Budapest 2001

External links

hu:Batthyány-Strattmann László

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