Georgs-Seminar 2019 - Maximilian I in many different perspectives

Stefan Gugerel, member of the Spiritual Council of the Order of St. George, gave us the following report on this year’s Georgs-Seminar, which is held annually at the Theresian Military Academy and will be held in cooperation with our Academy of St. George starting next year:

This year’s Georgs-Seminar, organized in cooperation with the Institute for Religion and Peace and the Rectorate of St. George’s Cathedral, took place on April 24, 2019 under the sign of Emperor Maximilian I, whose 500th anniversary of death was celebrated this year on January 12. Present among others was military bishop Dr. Werner Freistetter.

According to his own wish, the emperor was buried in the ornate of the Order of St. George in the church in which he had been baptized 60 years earlier. The trans-European activities of the native of Wiener Neustadt were examined from numerous perspectives.

Our procurator, Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele, in his opening greeting, explained the future orientation of Maximilian’s memory in terms of values, the courage to cross borders in the pan-European sense and the integration of tradition and innovation in the field between the conflicting priorities of the last knight and first canon Maximilian.

The German military attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Söhnholz, the French Ambassador Francois Saint-Paul, the Luxembourg Ambassador Marc Ungeheuer, the Swiss Ambassador Michele di Coduri and the Spanish Ambassador Juan Sunye-Mendia approached the festive event from the perspective of their present countries and described how the figure of Maximilian I was and is received there. As a basic tenor – even in a way that was critical of the present – the clear will for a united Europe beyond particular isolation resonated everywhere.

The two following main lectures on “Wiener Neustadt as imperial residence and childhood home of Maximilian” by Eveline Klein from the museum monastery St. Peter an der Sperr and “Maximilian music as transnational testimony” by Georg Wais, the director of the Schola Arrigensis, who sings music by Maximilian’s court composer Heinrich Isaac every first Sunday of the month in church service, broadened the view from the political to the personal and the aesthetic.

The Georgs-Seminar thus managed the balancing act between the reference to St. George and the Georgs-Knights to this year’s memorial content of Maximilian, and showed with a view to the Lower Austrian Federal State Exhibition that the world has always been ‘in motion’ here.