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The commission of Hungarian, Slovak, Polish and Czech historians preparing the beatification process of János Esterhazy, a leader of Slovakia’s ethnic Hungarian community between the two world wars, was officially sworn in in Krakow, a government official has said.

Count Esterházy (1901-1957), the sole Hungarian deputy in the Slovak Parliament before 1945, was a firm advocate of the ethnic Hungarian community, raising his voice against any violation of minority rights and against discrimination.

The ceremony was attended by Archbishop of Krakow Marek Jędraszewski

and Polish minorite monk Paweł Cebula, the postulator of Esterhazy’s beatification, who currently serves in Eger, in northern Hungary, said state secretary for church, minority and civil society relations Miklós Soltész.

The commission’s task will be to study and assess the life and virtues of Esterházy. The Vatican gave the green light to the beatification process last November. Once Esterhazy’s life is also reviewed by a theological commission, it will be that body’s job to submit a recommendation for beatification to the Vatican, Soltész said.