Arhiepiscopia Romano Catolică de Alba Iulia – Arhiva Arhidiecezană
E-mail personal autor:
5-6 / 2018
A handwritten songbook from the Batthyaneum Library of Alba Iulia: “A’ Bóldogságos Szűz Máriának Szives tisztelője” (1800) and the unknown ex-Jesuit author, Kováts József (†1819)
The Batthyaneum Library from Alba Iulia does not need any introduction. But it is undeniable that even in the proximity of the most valuable books and collections, there are lesser known, and nonetheless remarkable, values. In this article, I will approach a handwritten Roman Catholic songbook from the Batthyaneum. It was written in 1800 in „Székely – Udvarhely”/Odorheiu Secuiesc. “A’ Bóldogságos Szűz Máriának Szives tisztelője” was unknown to the academic community. Its entry in the library catalogues was not in any way extended, a researcher can only find the essential bibliographical reference, but not the author’s name too. In this study, I would like to present this handwritten songbook – a rare book that combines the liturgical songbook with private devotion, like a Hausgesangbuch. It could have been assumed that the book was in use of the Saint Imre Seminar (Szent Imre Szeminárium/Seminarul Sf. Emeric) of Odorheiu Secuiesc. This article is also a diachronic guide for the reception of the book. Researching in more transylvanian archives I have found the author, the ex-jesuit priest professor, KOVÁTS József. Finally, I have found a list with all his books in the Roman Catholic Priest Seminar’s Library of Alba Iulia. This story also mentions KOVÁTS József, his works, and their history.
Keywords: Transylvanian Catholicism, Alba Iulia, Batthyaneum, songbook manuscript, literature of devotion, Jesuit