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These moving Memoirs reveal the full story of the legendary hero-priest József Mindszenty, who has come to be regarded as a symbol of Christian and national resistance to Communism. His brave, uncompromising leadership against the atheistic totalitarian government set the example and laid the foundation for the strong, outspoken Christian leadership and witness of the Church in Hungary today.
Mindszenty was arrested, imprisoned, and physically and psychologically tortured by the Communist government. He spent eight years in solitary confinement. After the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he took refuge for fifteen years in the American embassy.
This work is an extraordinary contribution to contemporary history and an eyewitness account of a Church and country under brutal Communist domination in the Cold War era. It also sets the record straight on the causes and circumstances of Mindszenty's departure from the embassy, his visit to the Vatican, and his deposition to the archiepiscopal office. Memoirs is an unforgettable reading experience.
Joseph Pearce is the author of numerous literary studies, including Literary Converts, The Quest for Shakespeare, and Shakespeare on Love, as well as biographies on Oscar Wilde, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He is the general editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions series.
József Cardinal Mindszenty was the leading Churchman and Primate of the Catholic Church in Hungary from 1945 to 1973. For five decades he personified uncompromising opposition to fascism and communism in Hungary.
"The memoirs of Cardinal Mindszenty are enthralling, evidence of a terrible time, to be set with Solzhenitsyn's tales of the Gulag. The Cardinal was a hero for me as a teenager. He still is."
— George Cardinal Pell, Emeritus Archbishop, Sydney, Australia; Author, Prison Journal
"Cardinal József Mindszenty's memoirs are among the great Catholic testimonies of the twentieth century, as the great Hungarian martyr-confessor was one of the century's great Catholic witnesses."
— George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and Chair in Catholic Studies, Ethics & Public Policy Center
"A precious and deeply moving testimony of a true Catholic hero and martyr bishop, Hungary's greatest primate, Cardinal Mindszenty. He was a shining example of a shepherd who did not flee from the wolves but resisted, standing firmly on the ground of his faith and embracing the cross. A must-read!"
— Michael Hesemann, Ph.D., Historian and Author, The Pope and the Holocaust
"Cardinal Mindszenty was one of the heroes of the Cold War. His memoirs present a valuable picture of an era too easily forgotten as well as a moving self-portrait by a brave, uncompromising leader of the Church of Silence that struggled for survival behind the Iron Curtain."
— Russell Shaw, Author, Eight Popes and the Crisis of Modernity
"If bishops worldwide were given a week-long sabbatical to read, pray, and weep over this masterpiece of spiritual heroism, the long wintertime of the Catholic Church would end. Cardinal Mindszenty's startling memoirs expose what the Church's greatest martyrs have done down the ages: give over their bodies to beatings, imprisonment, and barbarism rather than betray Jesus Christ and the people they shepherd. Memoirs is a must read for every clergy member you know."
— Kevin Wells, Author, Priest and Beggar: The Heroic Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz
"Numerous books have been written about Cardinal Mindszenty. What a gift it is to have his very own words to tell us about himself and to learn of events lived by him and important to be known for an honest account of history. Eventually abandoned by both the United States and the Holy See, he evinces not a word of bitterness toward either. Truly a man worthy of the honors of the altars. May they come soon."
— Reverend Peter Stravinskas, Ph.D., Editor, The Catholic Response