The name ‘Pusztacsatár’ is a reference to the village of Csatár dating back to the age of the Árpád dynasty; and it also indicates that the craftsmen of the village used to make shields (csatár means shield-maker). Csatár was severely depopulated while Hungary was under Ottoman rule, but worshippers from the neighbouring areas continued to visit the chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a pilgrimage destination as early as the 1600s. Numerous accounts of heavenly apparitions were reported while the water of the local spring was claimed to have healed several people struggling with different diseases – making the village very popular with visitors. The old and decrepit church underwent extensive reconstruction in 1736. Now mainly bearing the marks of baroque architecture, some of the building’s earlier characteristics still remain. The place of pilgrimage, located in in Pusztacsatár, falls under
the jurisdiction of the Zalaháshágy Presbitery.
Pusztacsatár has its own pilgrimage song:
“Mary, oh, blessed you are,
Your old little outpost, Pusztacsatár
Trust you, we do, from the bottom of the heart
Our blessed mother, your people you shall guard”

Pusztacsatár is a station located along Via Sancti Martini, which leads to Tours, France. This pilgrimage road pays tribute to a major saint in European Christianity, St Martin, who was born in Savaria, today’s Szombathely, in either 316 or 317 AD. Martin was passing through this area when he left his hometown to visit first Italy then Gallia. As a soldier he met a beggar at the gates to the city of Amiens, and he tore his cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to express his sympathy with the poor and the needy. Later he left the army and set out on a route of pilgrimage; he organised Christian communities and founded a monastery. On his return to Savaria he converted his mother to Christianity. In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. Because of his great kindness, his benevolence to people and the miracles attributed to him he enjoyed a special esteem and respect. He died in 397.

The St. Martin's stations within walking trail following distances:
Pusztacsatár - Velence (2 km) - Zalaháshágy (5 km) - Zalalövő, town center (14 km)
Pusztacsatár - Vaspör (3 km) - Nádasd (10 km) - Körmend, town center (16km)

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The St George Abbey of Ják was founded by Marthinus Magnus de Jaak in cca. 1220, and it was consecrated in 1256. Its magnificent recessed doorway is the finest example of Hungary’s Romanesque architecture. The monastery, built adjacent to the church but destroyed in the late 16th century, was the home of Benedictine monks.   .....



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