Jankovics Castle “Historians are still in the dark about the year and place of his birth, and even his parentage seems shrouded in mystery.
`The earliest document dealing with the Hunyadi name is a royal patent signed by the Hungarian King Sigismund (Zsigmond) on October 18, 1409, in which the king donated Hunyadvár in Transylvania to Serba Vojk’s valiant service at Court. Vojk, whose family had come from Wallachia, thereupon changed his name to Hunyadi. Vojk’s wife, Erzsébet Morsina, was the daughter of a Hungarian nobleman. Hunyadvár, better known as Vajdahunyadvár, was, and still is, one of the loveliest castles in the Carpathian Basin. A close duplicate of it has been erected in the heart of Budapest behind Heroes’ Square, built for the Millennium in 1896. The charming little lake next to it is a favorite trysting place for young lovers.
There is some doubt over the identity of Hunyadi’s real father. According to contemporary gossip spawned by János Hunyadi’s phenomenal rise in fame and fortune, his birth was the fruit of an illicit love affair between King Sigismund, a notorious womanizer of his time, and Vojk’s wife, Erzsébet Morsina, either before or after her marriage to Vojk.
Hunyadi had two brothers: Vojk, who died early, and another who, strangely enough, was also christened János. The younger János also attained fame as a soldier, being dubbed miles militum – the valiant of valiants – until his early death in 1442 in a battle.
This version of his origin which, if true, would indicate royal blood, is vehemently disputed by Rumanians, who are proud of Hunyadi’s Wlach origin. They point to numerous documents in which Hunyadi’s by-name appears as János Oláh. (Oláh is the Hungarian word for Wlach.) This argument is tenuous, since Oláh is the surname of numerous noble families of purely Hungarian stock.
Disregarding gossip, the fact that he was Hungarian is irrefutable. His whole life was dedicated to the Hungarian and Christian cause; he married a Hungarian noblewoman (Erzsébet Szilágyi); and he reared his children as Magyars. He regarded himself as a Hungarian nobleman and went down in history as one of his country’s most celebrated heroes.”
“A Born Soldier
Young Hunyadi began his career as a member of King Sigismund’s bodyguards. He attended the king’s campaigns against Venice and against the Czech Hussites, and accompanied him to Rome, where Sigismund was crowned Roman Emperor. After travelling in Western Europe, he spent a few years in the court of the Serbian despot, Stepan Lazarovits.
Since boyhood, he had not only fought, but had also stored up observations made during his travels and campaigns. He was not a learned man, but he studied his profession thoroughly by analyzing the history and methods of European warfare. Drawing from these experiences he conceived a new strategy which combined mobility with security for his forces. These were usually not very numerous, but their quality was unequalled.
Since he lived for years in Serbia, Croatia and Italy, he learned to understand their peoples and their languages. Strangely enough, he never perfected Latin, the diplomatic language of the time used by the higher echelon of Hungarian society.
Hunyadi grew up a deeply religious man who strongly believed in the power of prayer. His comrades at Court frequently saw him slip out of bed late at night to spend hours on his knees in devout prayer in the royal chapel.
He was a born soldier filled with a missionary devotion to one great cause: to fight the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the greatest enemy of his country and his Church, until its forces were driven out – not only from Hungary – but from Europe itself.
The Turks Are Coming!”
All excerpts from Wikepedia