St. Marko Krizin
or Sv. Marko Križevčanin
(1589, Križevci – September 7, 1619, Košice)
Marko Krizin or Marko Križevčanin (1589, Križevci – September 7, 1619, Košice) is the third canonized Croatian saint of the Roman Catholic Church, priest, martyr of Košice, professor of theology, missionary.
He was born as Marko Stjepan Krizin in Križevci, within the diocese of Zagreb. He started his studies in the Jesuit college in Graz, where he joined the congregation of Saint Mary. As a candidate of Zagreb diocese he attended the famous Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome. He personally noted his nationality as Croatian in a document which is available in the college archive. As a student he was smart and considerate. He stayed there from 1611 to 1615.
Becoming a priest, he returned to his diocese where he stayed only a short period of time. Cardinal Péter Pázmány called him from Hungary and made him the head of the seminary in Trnava and Ostrogonic canon. Later he gave him also the task of leading the Benedictine abbey of Széplak, near Košice, which was the property of the Ostrogonic chapter.
The Calvinists then incited a rebellion, falsely accusing the Catholic minority of arsony on July 13, 1619. At that time, Marko was in the company of the other two Jesuits, as they all struggled to help the Catholic minority. When the commander of the Calvinist army George I Rákóczi came to Košice with his guards on September 3, 1619, they arrested the three priests at once. They went without food and water for three days. The commander promised Marko Krizin a church estate if he renounced the Catholic Church and converted to Calvinism. Marko refused. All three were tortured and then executed.
|The news about their martyrdom stormed across Hungary. Despite many pleas, Duke Bethlen buried them outside the sacred ground. He allowed it only 6 months later, when asked by the Palatine's wife Katalina Pálffy. The remains of the Košice martyrs now rest in the Ursulinic church in Trnava.
They were beatified on January 15, 1905, by Pope Pius X. The canonization of the three Košice martyrs was performed by Pope John Paul II on July 2, 1995 in Košice.
The feast day of Saint Marko Križevčanin is September 7. It is regularly celebrated with a week of festivities in Križevci.