Traveling exhibition of order history at the Haáz Rezső Museum

Can be visited: February 2 - June 4, 2023.

’’The Paulines” is a travelling exhibition on the history of the Pauline Order, organized by the Hungarian National Museum in cooperation with the Hungarian Pauline Order and the Haáz Rezső Museum. The exhibition opens with Saint Paul the First Hermit’s legend: the hermit fled to the Theban desert in order to escape persecution, and was fed for decades with half a loaf of bread, brought to him daily by a raven. When he died, two lions dug his grave, a scene that is also depicted in the Order's coat-of-arms. The exhibition displays centuries of memories, presenting the Pauline spirit, the Order's prosperity, economy, creative activity, decline and rebirth, the cult of the saints, the Order’s relations with the world, as well as its material and spiritual heritage.

About the exhibition
The exhibition begins with a hermit's cave. Leaving the cave, visitors can find out more about the key activities of the past 750-770 years: everyday monastic life, farming, liturgical life and pastoral care. The unit entitled 'Decay and rebirth' refers to the phrase attributed to Peter Pazmany, according to which Hungary rises and falls with the Paulines. The exhibition includes outstanding, emblematic works of art from the history of the Pauline Order, such as the red marble tombstone of Saint Paul the First Hermit, the only known 17th century portrait of György Martinuzzi, and works by Baroque Pauline writers, including Gergely Gyöngyösi, Brother György, Benedek Virág and Ferenc Vezér. English texts can be viewed via QR codes.

The Order of Saint Paul was founded in the mid-13th century, and it is the only Hungarian order still in existence that was recognized by the Pope in the Middle Ages. The order has had a history of decline and rebirth, with its monasteries repeatedly destroyed or dissolved, but it has survived and has a significant presence in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Paulines were also active in culture, with intellectual work playing a leading role in their lives, especially after the Middle Ages. Copying workshops, libraries and schools were the hallmarks of a Pauline life devoted to writing, reading and learning. The image of the Black Madonna is of particular importance to the Paulines, and the monks of Czestochowa care for the icon in their church, which is visited by more than 4.5 million pilgrims a year.
The order is also distinguished by its primary colors: gold, white, green and black represent the basic values. Gold, symbolizing the Theban desert and the two lions, is the color of divine perfection, eternity and light; white, representing water, the river and the sacred springs, is the color of purity, victory and peace; the green of the palm leaves, which form the basis of St Paul's robe, is the color of hope and nature; and black, representing the raven and the Black Madonna, is the color of modesty and humility.
The Order is active in Hungary, Poland (second home and current center of the Paulines), The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Africa and the United States.

Organizers: Hungarian National Museum, Hungarian Pauline Order, Haáz Rezső Museum (as local organizer)
Curators: Zsuzsa Pető, PhD-student, archaeologist at the Hungarian National Museum - Ünige Bencze, PhD, archaeologist at the Mureș County Museum - Hunor Szász, PhD, historian at the Haáz Rezső Museum.

The exhibition has been realized with the support of the Government of Hungary, through the contract of funding, Nr. EGYH-KCP-18-P-0183.