Minorities Research 1.

Sándor Horváth

Popular Religiousness
(Its Expressions by the Ethnic Minorities of Western Hungary)

 Fortunately, the number of publications on the subject of folk-religion has increased recently. The claim that folk-religion “does not form a traditional, clearly separable area in ethnography, but implies many branches of it and, through its distinct perspective, it unites different phenomena of folk-life”  might sound as a commonplace. For centuries, religion served as a measure of society – for the smaller and larger communities and for the individuals in it. It defined the value-system and forms of behaviour – as a matter of fact it altered the very nature of culture. That is the reason why the excellent researcher of Hungarian popular religiousness, Sándor BÁLINT, warns us: “when we decide to investigate religious folk-life, it would be an error to take it out from the organic context of folk-life and examine it as an independent phenomenon. Even if we talk about the world and issues of religious folk-life separately, that can only be done because of methodical purposes and interests, as with other branches of ethnography, that are pointed out and emphasised because of methodical reasons.”

 Furthermore, the differences caused by the social hierarchy are far less noticeable in the investigation of popular religiousness than in any other cultural areas. At least that was the situation before the Enlightenment. The religious experience and the worshipping (confession and reflection of faith) of the master and the peasant, of the noble aristocrat and the serf, were very often similar, sometimes identical. The best example is that of Pal Eszterházy who participated in processions 58 times. As we know, he led the greatest procession of Máriacell, as a thanksgiving for defeating the Turks in the battle of Zalánkemen on August 27, 1697.

 Eleven thousand people, his family and the people of his estates participated in the so-called “palatine procession”. Apart from the members of his family, there were musicians, herolds in ceremonial dresses and singers following each other in the entry to Máriacell, which was organized with baroque pomp. Hundreds of people carried flags and 665 girls, dressed in white, carried pictures and sculptures. The mysteries of the rosary were symbolised by figures dressed in red, white and golden costumes.” The example of Ádám Batthyány proves that, until the 17th and 18th century, similarities between social layers were not only in religious formalities, but also in the deep layers of their belief. He recorded the weather conditions of the period from the December 13 (Luca’s Day) to Christmas Day in 1653. In such a weather report each day corresponded to a month in the following year. Ethnographers may come across the custom of weather-foretelling in Luca’s Day even today.

 Until the Enlightenment the religiousness of both the upper and the lower classes of society were characterised by the “heart’s logic”. Zoltán Alszeghy writes: “Since the ages of the Enlightenment it is not enough to explain our convictions by the heart’s logic. We feel the need to give ourselves (and to others) an account of the basis of our hope according to the thought-forms of the mind. (1Pet 3,15)”

 The difference, the “superstitious” symbolic characteristics of popular religiousness in our case (besides others), has already been “recognised” in the Reformation and not only in the Enlightenment. The preacher from Németújvár (Güssing), Imre Bejthe, wrote in a letter to his master, Ferenc Batthyány in 1622: “Az kertesi idolomániát Nagiságod el nem bontá enni időtől fogva. Melen kivől nem tudok iszoniub utállatoskodást mint abban chelekszenek az templomban, ott áldozzák magokat, gyermekeiket az füstölő viasz gyertyáknál és az hitető misék szeszénél az Akkaron eördögöknek és a Boldog Anya bálvánjnak.” (he was complaining about idolatry in a church where people took blessings to their children and to themselves by censing and by dedicating holy masses to the Akkaron devils and to our Blessed Virgin Mary.) A year later the preacher writes that he sent another preacher “kültem vólt Zent kútra ez undok czopornicás nép közzé.” (to Szentkút, to those disgusting, loathsome “czopornyiczás” folk).  The expressions “czopornicza”, “czupornicza” occur in relation to Croat names as well, in the materials about the with-craft trial of Nagymedves in 1645, and these terms are the variations of the Croat word “coprnica” – ‘witch’. It is clear from the quoted paragraph that during the time of Reformation, even the masses were regarded as superstitious in the eyes of the Protestants. That also indicates that the phenomena of popular religiousness should be handled carefully. As it was worded about Protestant popular religiousness (“…we often come across phenomena that can be viewed as “superstitions” from a Calvinist aspect… But since it is a religious experience, and not “black magic”, for those who participate in it, we have to accept it as such an expression within a group that was created by an extreme situation and should be regarded as a religious phenomenon.”)

 When we examine issues of popular religiousness on the example of Western Hungarian minorities, it has to be noted that we talk about Catholics. And Western Hungary is meant in a traditional sense (although we rather think about the present situation): that is the Western ridge of historical Hungary. (Actually, it is present-day Burgenland, and the counties Győr-Moson-Sopron, Vas and Zala.) The reason for this aspect is that the cultural region has formed such a unity this way until the present days, and one half of the area, which is formed according to political and economical initiatives, cannot be interpreted without the other half.

 In spite of (all) appearances, breaking with the historical perspective does not mean that the topic is approached without any historical aspects. It is regrettable that certain contemporaries of a secularised (“absolute”-ly enlightened) mind tend to “throw out the baby with the bath water”. Some people, or certain communities, sometimes organise a full campaign against the “superstitious” customs of the believers, although they should only accept that certain customs of our ancestors could only be understood in themselves. We should try to interpret these customs in their own contexts, in their own time. On the other hand, we cannot forget about those contemporaries who believe according to the “heart’s logic”. The only answer to the question “Whose faith is deeper?” can be found in the conviction, through the biblical reference, that it is not our task to decide it. We should simply note that one has a more rational, the other has a more emotional faith. If it wasn’t so ambiguous, one could even say that the other has a more sentimental faith.

 When we cited Sándor BÁLINT in connection with popular religiousness, pervading the whole culture, and that it can only be interpreted as an organic whole, we also noted (with the words of the great researcher), that during the analysis we are forced to examine the whole in parts. Elek BARTHA, for example, talks about seven major topics in the analysis of a (Greek Catholic) community’s popular religiousness. The chapters created by him cover all the topics of popular religiousness. These are the following: religion and environment, religious events, religiousness of everyday life, the sacraments and the religious connections/ relations/ references of the great turning points of human life, the sacraments, religious concepts, the Church in the village’s community.  We cannot go through all the topics of the chapters, but we are going to take at least one example from each chapter.

 And since we have already mentioned processions two times, as historical examples, we remain faithful to these examples that belong to the topic of religious events according to BARTHA’s division. During the 17th and 18th centuries, about half of the Hungarian procession places were in Transdanubia, and a quarter of them in Western Transdanubia. It was also typical of that age and of Western Transdanubia that procession-chapels outnumbered the secular parish churches and monasteries. Lords, like the already mentioned palatine, Pál Eszterházy, took important parts in it. Between 1660 and 1710 Pál Eszterházy “keeping the Austrian example in view, was the initiator or the promoter of worship in the case of not less than eight procession places in the Western Transdanubian areas, which were mainly on his estates.” And, since we are dealing with “religious events” the reader should be reminded that the liturgy of the Middle Ages was not unified, but it differed according to regions, countries, dioceses and religious orders. Even after the unification, expressed by the Missale Romanorum (1570) and the Rituale Romanorum (1611), those phenomena survived along with the official rites, as local characteristics, local customs, as popular religiousness. Certain elements of it can still be traced: the Resurrection Procession of Holy Saturday and the Balázs-blessing can be regarded as local and Central European examples . It has to be noted here that popular religiousness is sometimes related to folk-belief and generally to folk-customs in a very complicated way. This relation is not accidental, since at the end of the 6th century St. August of Canterbury and his missionary companions were sent by Gregory I to convert the Anglo-Saxons, but they had to show respect for the folk-traditions of England: they were told not to destroy the pagan churches, but transform them into Christian ones. This tolerance has led to the multi-coloured nature of Christianity, both in rites and in worshipping. From one of the analysed examples of the Croats’ popular religiousness in Zala, it turned out that such a duality occurs in the case of “Sacred Young Sunday” (Sveta Mlada Nedelica) both in prayers and in folk songs. The personification of ‘Sunday’ seems to be an allegory, an abstracted symbol at first. But it turns out during the investigation that the Orthodox Church knows about a certain Saint Sunday or Cyriake, even today. On the other hand, supposedly a pagan deity with a taboo-name is also hidden in this tradition . Still, we also have to emphasise that we cannot talk about the coexistence of Christianity and paganism (neither in this case, nor in other, similarly multi-layered phenomena of popular religiousness). Paganism and Christianity have formed a unity since the Middle Ages in a way, where pagan elements have become sanctified and Christianised . The widening and the fulfilment of the traditions of folk-religion, the consecration of pagan elements, are seemingly not related to their direct connections. The worship of St. Martin cannot be seen as rich and variegated in the investigated region, although it is originated from there – from Szombathely, or from Pannonhalma, according to others. The “twig of St. Martin”, the shepherds’ twig with leaves on it, that is carried to the owner of the tended flock with a good-wishing rhyme, is still a known custom among the Hungarians, the Germans and the Croats of Western Transdanubia. Still, it should be emphasised that, while its role in the folk-tradition of its episcopal see’s environment (i.e.: in France) is both significant and variegated around Europe , the custom is rather poor in our region.

 Among the sacral roadside relics, and here we talk about the “religion and environment” topic, the worship of St. Anthony of Padova in Vas county was the subject of a recent survey: the oldest known piece is a relief from 1725, on the stone-picture of the Kolom vineyard (Kulm, Burgenland) . A pious foundation was made in Magyarkeresztes (now Vaskeresztes in Vas county.) in 1740 to preserve the sculpture of St. Anthony. The man-sized wooden sculpture is standing in a small niche-sized chapel at the crossroads just outside the village. Kolom and Keresztes are both inhabited by Germans, but the sculptures of St. Anthony of Padova can also be found in Hungarian and Croat villages as well. However, they are most frequent in German villages, if we only take into consideration the materials from before the 20th century and only the roadside relics among them.

 After the topics “religion and environment” and religious events”, the topic “religiousness of everyday life” should be dealt with. At the beginning of the last century, János Csaplovics already wrote about the Western Transdanubian (Gradistyean today) Croats that they liked processions “and they never forget to cross themselves, whenever they pass a church or a roadside cross . The Cross as a magic, preventive sign has appeared recently on unexpected places in the southern parts of the region, such as the stable and the pig-sty: the crosses, painted or drawn with protective purpose, frequently occurred in Slovenian villages, in the southern and south-western parts of the historical Vas county .

 Praying can be seen as one of the most typical manifestations of everyday religiousness. In addition to the prayers approved by the Church, a strong archaic apocryphal tradition of medieval origin is also present. It was discovered and assiduously collected by Zsuzsanna ERDÉLYI, an outstanding researcher of Hungarian popular religiousness. She consistently made every effort to preserve similar archaic prayers from each nation in the Carpathian Basin. While this part of the analysis is not stressed in her book Hegyet hágék, lőtőt lépék, in her recent publications she tends to investigate these issues from an interethnic aspect. It is also true that in one of her first publications on the subject, where she discovers the Faust-story in the Tenfilus-song, she already mentions the Croats: in addition to those living in the Dráva region, she also talks about the Western Transdanubian Croats (those of Gradistye) . She wrote the following in her first treatment of the material collected in the regions of ethnic minorities – mainly in our region: “Data can also be brought forward about the traceability and possible connections of the Italian-Bosnian-Croatian-Slovenian-Hungarian Franciscan way of intellectual progress.” With the help of László HADOVICS, I found the written version of the Tenfilus “popevka” vigil song, which Zsuzsanna ERDÉLYI collected in Berzence, in the southern part of Somogy, by the Dráva. It was found in Laurentius Bogovich’s Hiša zlata (“Golden House”), a prayer-, and hymnbook that was published in 1754, Sopron. The title of the “Jacska” song on the pages 405-408 reads as follows: Od Teofilusa k diviczi Marii: Na sztaru Notu horvaczku. Kasze na szhodischi, ali pred kipom B. D. M. jacsit more (~ ”From Teofilus to Mary, to an old Croatian song, that is sung on processions or before the picture of Mary.”). That raises the possibility to reconstruct, with the help of the Croat prayer-book, the book of the Transylvanian Franciscan, János Kájoni’s “Aranyos ház” (“The Golden House”), which was probably published in the 1670s, but which has not a single extant copy. Here Zsuzsanna ERDÉLYI also gives a brief description of the archaic prayers of the Hungarian South Slavs: “If, as an outsider, I would like to characterise the sacral traditions of the three examined ethnic minority in Hungary, with a vast generalisation I could say that in the Slovenian spiritual heritage the predominance of emotional (sentimental) and lyrical elements is prominent, even in their long epics. In the sacral traditions of the Croats, it is the intellectual, educational and epic elements that dominate, even when one hears their prayers, which are rich in images… The Serb material is remarkable for its visionary, imaginative, dramatically brief characteristics…”

 From the topic “the sacraments and the religious connections of the great turns of human life” the only reference is made to a rare and particular accessory of the funeral: the crown of the dead. The funerals of the unmarried, young dead are usually arranged as the wedding of the dead person. The custom of making the crown of the dead could be observed in some regions and in certain villages of Western Hungary as well. In Narda, which is mostly inhabited by Gradistyean Croats, it was first woven in 1961. Until then, they had been carrying apples or oranges on a plate with three rosemaries stuck into the fruits. (On weddings, when the young girl is married to someone in another village, the lads still use this plate, with a band with the national colours, for “tying the road”.) In 1961 a mother wove a wreath of rosemary around the apples for the funeral of his 19 year-old son. This custom is known in every village of the Gradistyean Croats in Hungary, except for Szentpéterfa. “Although the crown should be seen as a new phenomenon, or that is evidently how it appears in Narda, the Gradistyean Croats regard it as their private own custom.”  The Hungarians coming to the funeral from other villages invariably show astonishment on seeing the crown of the dead (made of rosemary and meténg), which is thrown into the grave during the funeral. This behaviour reinforces the idea in the locals that it is a private custom of the Croats in Narda, despite the fact that the crown of the dead is also woven some kilometres away, by the Hungarians in Őrvidék, in Burgenland.

 From the “sacraments” we may deal with the consecration of flowers. It was mentioned by Elemér Schwartz in the mid-20s that people by the rivers Rába and Lapinos went to church at the feast of Blessed Virgin Mary with bunches of wild flowers and herbs – mainly chicory and tansy. The priest consecrated the flowers before the mass. The consecrated flower was dried at home on the chest of drawers, on the top of the ‘almárium’, a kind of cupboard, and remained there until Epiphany. People believed that it protected the house from thunderbolts and strokes of lightning. It was also used for sprinkling consecrated water throughout the year. At Epiphany, they put embers into a plate and they crumble some of the consecrated flowers on it. Then “the housewife takes the pot and with all the members of the household they set off to consecrate the family’s home. Through the way there, the participants start to pray and they ask for the Lord’s goodwill for the next year. They walk around the house, fill each room and chamber with smoke and then the head of the family draws three crosses with a chalk above the doors. At the end of the rite they go into the kitchen and put the smoke-pot on the floor. The participants take their shoes off and hold their bare feet over the smoke and ask God in a prayer to keep every harm and trouble away from them in the New Year. Then they all put on their shoes and then comes the “Pu’ln” (Sprinkling). The housewife scatters nuts and dried fruits on the floor and the children collect them, making big noise.”  This ceremony characterised the villages populated by Germans. In the ancient times analogous phenomena could have been found among various peoples, from the Romans to the Egyptians. SCHWARTZ only went back to the pagan plant-worship of the Germans, saying that since taking up Christianity, they attributed the healing power of the plants and herbs to God through the help of the saints. Formulas of consecrating herbs have survived among the Germans since the 10th century. Elemér SCHWARTZ calls the consecration of herbs on the Day of Blessed Virgin Mary a German religious custom after Adolf FRANZ . As a matter of fact, the custom of house-smoking and nut-scattering is not unknown among the Gradistyean Croats. In Narda, for example, they walk around the house at Christmas Eve – with the smoke of the consecrated flowers from the Lord’s Day and of some incense. Here, the task of censing is done by the head of the family, while the housewife’s job is to sprinkle the house with consecrated water. The family prays in the stable, while kneeling on straw, to the memory of the little Jesus, who was also born among avers. The master censes around the cow, then comes the censing and sprinkling with consecrated water of the sties and finally of the house. Then the custom of “pipizés” (“pipijaju se” in Croatian) follows: the housewife scatters nuts on the ground for the children. Meanwhile she makes noises as if she was calling out for the poultry. It is believed that if the boys collect more nuts, then there will be more cocks in the poultry-yard, and if the girls win, then there will be more hens.

 We have historical evidences of the censing. The city council of Kőszeg detected that the cause of the fire on the Christmas of 1681 was a certain Mrs. P. Francsics, who had been censing her house and this had led to the fire. According to her maid, Magdolna, Mrs. Francsics had been censing her house every Christmas during the three years she had been serving her. As the procčs-verbal writes: “mind a három Esztendőben…Aszszonya Karácsony estve vacsorájok előtt Uy fazekba tüzet tévén, és ezen fatenssel a Lampasban gyerttyát vütetvén, elsőben is Tehén Istállóját, az után ökör Istállóját, és consequenter mind a házait Tömjénnel füstöltő. (…) minden esztendőben megh Szokta Aszszonya füstölnyi a házait, a mint hogy most Karachon estve is megh füstöltö.” (~ “…in all the three years… Her lady put fire in a new pot before the supper of Christmas Eve, made her maid to carry a candle, and smoked with incense at first the stable of the cow, then the stable of the ox and consequentially all her houses. (…) Her lady used to cense her houses every year, as she did it at this Christmas as well.”) The man who recorded the phenomenon was not familiar with this custom and believed it to be unique in Hungary. Ferenc SCHRAM writes: “It was more prevalent in the German-speaking areas, where they censed the house and the stable during the whole ‘zwölf Nächte’ or “Zwölften” in a more ‘folkish’ way.” But the defendant’s last name, Francsics, informs us that the ‘smoker’ in this case was a Croat woman. 

 Finding an explanation for the origins of this custom would be further complicated by the fact that the custom of scattering on Christmas Eve was also known in the middle of Croatia, in Prigorje as well, although they scattered corn there .

 In the topic “religious images” we could refer back to the apocryphal prayers, which were not only spread by oral tradition, but by cheap literature and manuscripts as well. The most current type of apocryphal prayers should be mentioned: “Mary’s dream”. This is the most popular, the “most useful” and philologically the most ancient apocryphal topic of both the Western and Orthodox Christianity. Zsuzsanna ERDÉLYI writes: “I myself believe the above mentioned Franciscan tradition to be at its origin, although the early literary scene refers to the Simeon-prophecy (42), in which the Franciscan tradition makes the very best of the emotional effect and the possible ‘powers’ of the dream and visionary literature of the Middle Ages, according to the central requirements of religious life, to express the envisioning and recapturing of Christ’s death. They perform it by inserting Mary’s figure, with an emphasis on her motherly state .

 The “Mary’s dream” was circulated as censored cheap literature from Vas from the 19th century. In 1811 the council of procurators condemned a “piece” to incineration, which was printed by the typographer Perger, without approbation and against the admonitions of the censor of Szombathely. The book contains the writings of a woman from Kisunyom, full of tales and superstitions, under the title “The Dream of the Blessed Virgin Mother”. The council also recommended the printer’s strict punishment. However, a decade before, the principal of the gymnasium of Kőszeg asked for permission to print and publish a text with the same title . While in 1801, the censor of Buda wrote about this cheap literature that “it writes simple, foolish, plebeian tales and fakes”, Sándor BÁLINT has a different opinion. He writes the following about the text: “this cheap literature is the blending of two sacral folklore-topics. Both of them originate in the Middle Ages, in the visions of St. Bridget. One is the dream of Virgin Mary (Bridget), the other is a letter by St. Michael, which was displayed on the Mont Saint Michel of Normandy, one of the most popular shrines of the Middle Ages, and of the present. According to the legend, the letter was sent by the archangel himself to the people of the Earth about how they should live to find salvation. The fictitious letter was circulated in several variations in Central Europe after the discovery of printing, mainly with the help of the city of Wels in Austria. This cheap literature is a blended and contaminated text which was carried by the believers as an amulet to protect them from sudden, unprepared death, or from dying without the last sacrament.”

 The Gradistyean Croats has prayed ‘Mary’s dream’ until recently. Besides, as a unique example, a Gradistyean Croat text was also found in Narda, which had been printed in Pittsburgh, America. This cheap literature is a “letter sent from the Heaven”, and Mary’s dream is only a part of it. (Similarly in the Hungarian variants from Vas, from the beginning of the century.) And now, we may start a long religion- and culture-historical excursion, because we have records about Mary’s dream in the Slavic folklore since the 10th century. The first known Western European variant is also early: it is from Bologna, from 1281. It is not known exactly how these early data relate to the ‘Mary’s dream’-s that became widespread, both in oral and in written forms, from the 18th century. The contemporary parallels of the “letter sent from the Heaven” can be found in the chain-letters like the “flame of fortune” and others. After all, the early (10th-13th century) spreading of the ‘Mary’s dream’-variant can be an offshoot of the Church’s initiative to overcome the spreading of gnosticism (Bogomils, Albigents, Patarenes) of that age in the Balkan, in Southern France and in Northern Italy.

 Finally, in the topic “the Church in the community of the village” we only refer back to a single thing in the past: to the missions. A Croatian Jesuit, Jurij Mulih went on 180 missions in Croatia and Transdanubia from 1727 to 1754, the time of his death. He visited all the places inhabited by Croats in Hungary, and also visited the Croats of Western Transdanubia between 1749 and 1754. He participated in the publishing of 31 books . Gyula JÁNOSI writes about the propagators of penitential missions and about Mulih as well: “The founder of penitential missions in and around Kassa was Bernát CERONI (1738). Miklós PETKŐ continued his work. In Transdanubia, it was also CERONI with Ignác KREMBS who started the work. György MULICH organised missions according to Segneri’s method for the Croats in Croatia and in Hungary for 27 years – until his death in 1754. He always made his missions more efficient with his own blood. The people liked him so much that they simply referred to him as ‘saint’.” JÁNOSI also notes that “in Lajtapordány (Ungarisch-Prodersdorf) people listened to the sermons through the church-windows. At midnight the Croats almost broke into the missionaries’ homes, asking them to hear their confessions.”

 The literature has incredible data about the nature of the missions in the 18th century. Tihamér VANYÓ writes: “The mission was usually closed by an expiatory procession. The penitential discipline of the age expressed itself in these processions. People were dressed in black and they sang dirges. The strictest kinds of penance were frequent. In 1744, most of the population of Kőszeg was present on the procession. The abbot-parson led the procession in a penitent-dress, with a large cross on his shoulder, with a crown of thorns on his head, with his legs in chains. In two places the friars carried crosses so huge that they nearly collapsed under them. The musicians of Count Eszterházy played the Miserere-psalm during the procession.” We do not talk about such results of the missions as the ‘Mary’s water’, ‘St. Ignatius’ water’, erecting crosses and the several confraternities, such as the confraternity of Jesus’ Heart, founded by Ignác BATTHYÁNY in 1756. We only refer to the relevant parts of the quoted works of VANYÓ and JÁNOSI.

 JÁNOSI in his quoted work characterises the baroque type of religious people as someone, who is “full of emotions, who strives for heaven within his soul, but is often forced to recognise that he is still on Earth.” If the concluding thoughts have to be found, JÁNOSI’s words seem relevant, because popular religiousness remained on the level of the religiousness of the Baroque, irrespective of linguistic and national differences. That is why a man living together with benignant devotion is sometimes a sore sight for his secularised fellow-man, and that is why popular religiousness is more and more frequent today. We also have to be reminded that there was only a little, or none, difference between the (popular) religiosity of the two ends of society in the 17th and 18th centuries.

 The results of the attempts to transform are usually religious daubs and tripes, which can be considered as bad offshoots from the aspect of high arts, but which should be judged in their own places, in their own time according to their own roles, only after more thorough investigations.

 On the other hand particularities represented and spread by certain monastic orders also characterise and form popular religiousness – practically irrespective of language and nationality. The Dominicans, for example, became the founders of the Blessed Mary Congregation in Szombathely, which is also called Rosary Society: the telling of the beads and the rosary was spread with especially great intensity because of their influence in the region. “In Szombathely, the founder of the Rosary Society was probably Zsigmond Ferrari. The members do their devotionals before the altar of Rosary. They keep monthly processions, on which singing girls carry the flags and the sculpture of the Blessed Virgin – similarly to Máriacell. The picture of the Blessed Mary (the sculpture) was standing on altars, which, as the palatine writes, was thought to be miraculous. It was a custom to donate jewellery and splendid female dresses to the sculpture, because at that time it was a custom to dress the sculpture, according to the feasts. It has been known as the Blessed Mary Congregation since 1662, and has been mentioned, in testaments, as Rosarium (Rosary Society) since 1675.” Such and similar differences can be noted both in the popular religiousness of the minority and the majority.

 In the popular religiousness of communities with different backgrounds, only slight differences can be found. Most of these can be explained with the tolerance of Early Christianity, with the sacralization of pagan elements, that is with the folk-tradition-fostering nature of the Early Christianity. (Without further information we may only assume the influence of the heretic movements, e.g. the Bogumils, on the Catholic religion.)