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Speech of President of the Republic János Áder at the Gala Dinner of the Constantinian Order of St George in London

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am sincerely grateful for this decoration.

I do not take this decoration as a gesture made towards my person, but consider it a clear message. For me, this decoration – awarded by a prestigious Knight’s Order with great traditions – conveys the message that passing on values is important for all of us.

This is why I receive it as a member of a nation proud of its traditions, coming from representatives of a nation who also cherish their traditions so much. This decoration is recognition of all the deeds that Hungary has done in the spirit of the same values that the Order also treasures.

The Constantinian Order of St George considers it its mission to protect faith. There is only one way of protecting and preserving faith: to pass it on.

This is the case with our most cherished, eternal treasures also. Culture, dignity, tradition, morals, social responsibility, values: can only remain ours if we learn to pass them on.

St Thomas More, the patron saint of statesmen and lawyers is thought to have said “Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame.”

This thought has special acoustics to us Hungarians – it sounds as if it was said by Béla Bartók, who collected Hungarian folk music 400 years later.

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,

I visited Albania a few weeks ago, where they proudly quoted the words of Mother Theresa: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

It is an honour to be among you, who so sincerely want to give. To be among people for whom the teachings of faith are a fundamental moral command, a call for action.


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