István, the son of Géza, the son of Taksony, the son of Zsolt, the son of Árpád, the son of Álmos, the son of Ügek and Emese...
István died in 1038 and was sainted in 1083. August 20 is the day of his feast in Hungary. When he was born, he was given the name Vajk, but was baptized István (Estefan, Stefan, Steven; from stephanos, Greek for crown. Nomen est omen). His father had had the ambition of founding a Christian dynasty, but according to church legends he could not, as an angel told him in a vision, because he had blood on his hands. (Which monarch did not?) But his son would fulfill the dream.
The historical István was a strong, talented ruler, who built a western, European kingdom based on a mixed, in part semi-nomadic population - thus finishing the work his father had begun. He organized counties, bishoprics, built churches and cathedrals, a bureaucracy, successfully sought diplomatic ties with Bavaria to the left, and the Slavic kingdoms to the east. He was powerful enough to defend Hungary against invaders, eastern or western.
He took a wife, Gizella, from the Bavarian dynastic line, thereby sealing the Western alliance. The alternatives would have been remaining independent, "pagan", at war with the rest of the world, or accepting Byzantine Orthodoxy, as eastern and southern Slavdom had done. But then Hungary would still have remained a target for the West.
In fact István did have to fight, on several fronts. Against German armies that threatened the country's independence; against his own kinfolk, who, with their supporters, sought to overthrow and even murder him; against "pagan" rebels, who hated the often foreign clergy and taxes collected by the lords, ecclesiastic and worldly.