A statue depicting the patron saint of urology, St. Liborius, was unveiled in the hall of the Department of Urology on the occasion of the clinic’s 100th anniversary. Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector, Dr. Péter Nyirády, Director, and Dr. Imre Pákozdi, Pastor, gave speeches, which were followed by Pastor Pákozdi consecrating the work of the Kossuth Prize-winning sculptor István Madarassy.

‘This is not the kind of anniversary we have been expecting, but even in this special situation, Semmelweis University was worthy of its predecessors and its namesake, Ignác Semmelweis,’ Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University, began his speech in the hall of the university’s Department of Urology, where a statue of St. Liborius, the patron saint of urology, was inaugurated on the occasion of the centenary of the institution.

Dr. Béla Merkely said that Semmelweis University would not be a 250-year-old, internationally renowned university without institutions such as the Department of Urology. In his speech, the Rector recalled the history of the clinic and its legal predecessors, as well as the Hungarian pioneers in the field, including Géza Illyés, the first head of the department, whose 150th birth anniversary is also this year. Semmelweis University and its predecessor, as well as its faculty members, played an important role in the fact that urology became a separate discipline from surgery, and the work performed there became internationally recognized. ‘According to the guest book preserved since 1922, 106 American urologists and surgeons, as well as specialists from more than a hundred other countries, visited the clinic to study its activities until 1938, i.e. until the last year of peace before World War II,’ said Dr. Béla Merkely.

In his speech, Dr. Péter Nyirády emphasized that, true to the history of the clinic, the main principle of the current staff is that they not only cure and treat patients’ external symptoms, but also place emphasis on the care of the soul. Recalling the figure and creed of St. Liborius, patron saint of urology, he said: ‘the intertwining of body and soul, the spirituality of healing and nursing, have led us to erect a statue to the centenary, which can serve as a reminder for everyone entering the clinic. It can also help us spiritually, primarily in healing, but often in illness and suffering with faith and dignity.’

Afterwards, Dr. István Pákozdi, University Pastor, shared details about the historical figure of St. Liborius with those present. He also spoke about the significance of the gesture of erecting the statue, and, subsequently, he blessed the work of art.

The statue, inaugurated in the hall of the Department of Urology, is the work of the Kossuth Prize-winning sculptor István Madarassy. The sculpture depicts St. Liborius with his usual attributes, a Bible and three stones.

Ádám Szabó
Translation: Diána Módos
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University