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Gábor Hevenesi (1656–1715) was a Jesuit theologian and historian, and the provincial of the Hungarian Jesuit Province. First he taught in Trnava, then in Vienna and Graz. He was the counsellor of Leopold Kollonich, archbishop of Esztergom. At the archbishop's request Hevenesi launched the collection of historical documents pertaining to Hungary. The material gathered during this enterprise fills 91 manuscript volumes preserved today in the University Library and Archives.

Hevenesi was a prolific author: he published more than 30 books. One of his most important works, Régi magyar szentség, published in Vienna in 1692, was written on the inspiration of the Bollandists’ great enterprise, the Acta sanctorum, and it contains the short vitae of saints and blessed related to Hungary. His book titled Amores Josephini was published in the same year and city in Leopold Voigt’s University Press that published a great number of Hungarian documents. Although the strengthening of the cult of St. Joseph in the West had started already in the high Middle Ages, the real heyday of the production of writings and meditative treatises on him took place in the 16th and 17th centuries. Emperor Leopold (r. 1657–1705) offered the Habsburg realms to the patronage of St. Joseph and named his son after him. According to Hevenesi, who relied on earlier literary tradition, the saint was born without pain by his mother and took a vow of chastity as a mature man. Joseph is represented in this work as the head of the Holy Family and a caring father, who lays his son to sleep and feeds the baby Jesus, later teaches him to read and write, as well as carpentry. After his death, Joseph could occupy his place next to his spouse before Christ. The work containing 53 copperplate engravings ends with chapters on the spreader and promoter of the cult of St Joseph, St Theresa of Avila, and about the fact that he is the patron saint not only of the Jesuits but of people from the most diverse backgrounds.

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Source/author of illustration:
ELTE University Library and Archives