The first canonisations in medieval Hungary consisted of a series of elevations involving the relics of five saints at three locations – all of them dating from 1083. Two were performed in Székesfehérvár, the third at Csanád (today Cenad in Romania), and two hermits were elevated in Nyitra (now Nitra in Slovakia). Two features distinguish the shrines of the saints canonised in 1083: the use of Roman sarcophagi and the creation of confessio-like underground spaces. The reuse of Roman sarcophagi was popular in reform circles associated with Pope Gregory VII. The Roman confessio can also be associated with church reformers, as with the case of Archbishop Anno of Cologne, a dedicated supporter of the monastic reform, in Bonn.

The Hungarian canonisations were initiated by King Ladislas I (1077–1095). At the beginning of his reign he supported the papacy, marrying Adelheid, the daughter of Rudolf Rheinfelden. In 1091 he invited Cluniac monks to Hungary. Historians have argued that King Ladislas was not, in fact, a dedicated supporter of the papal reform movement. However, the settings devised for the 1083 saints suggest differently, for the arrangement of the shrines at these three locations explicitly follows patterns of devotion then current in reform circles, and eloquently underscores the political rhetoric of the king.