September 28 – Good King Wenceslaus

September 25, 2017

(Also Vaclav, Vaceslav.)

Saint Wenceslaus sculpture near the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Poděbrady, Central Bohemia.

Saint Wenceslaus sculpture near the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Poděbrady, Central Bohemia.

Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.

Stained glass window of King St. Wenceslaus.

Stained glass window of King St. Wenceslaus.

His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests.

Equestrian statue of St. Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in Prague

Equestrian statue of St. Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in Prague

St. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for his virtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September.

St. Wenceslaus

Statue of King St. Wenceslaus in Prague, Oklahoma.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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