Diary

Memorable programs, memorable people

20 August 2017

Our Shared Gratitude

“The order of Saint Stephen is the most prestigious manifestation of our gratitude. (...) It is granted to those who reinforce our conviction that as humans and Hungarians we have a mission to enrich this world through our individual achievements, ideas and determination.” These were my husband’s words in his laudatory address, when Cardinal Péter Erdő and pianist Tamás Vásáry were awarded the Hungarian St. Stephen Order. At first glance, there might be little in common in the life of the cardinal, dedicating his life to serving the faith and that of one of the world’s best pianists and conductors. Upon more detailed scrutiny, though, a striking similarity is revealed. As János put it: “(...) a shared trait of the most outstanding people is that they fight for clear goals and inspire others to do the same. They show, that in the maze of countless possibilities criss-crossing the world, there are clear directions leading to true values.” Both of them are internationally acknowledge authorities in their field and the dinner we shared with the holders of the award revealed yet another common element, when Tamás Vásáry talked at length about his profound and strong faith in god. What is for me the most cherished shared element in their lives, though, is the selfless love, demonstrated when sharing their achievements with others, most importantly with us, Hungarians. Cardinal Péter Erdő and pianist Tamás Vásáry dedicate a considerable amount of their time to teaching. We owe them gratitude for it!