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Saint Wenceslaus

Saint Wenceslaus
  • Century: 10th Century
  • Patronage: Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague
  • Feast Day: September 28th

St. Wenceslaus was the son of Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia.  His father was raised as a Christian, and his grandfather was converted by Saints Cyril and Methodius.  His mother was baptized when she married his father. 

In the year 921 when Wenseslaus was thirteen, his father died.  His grandmother, St. Ludmila brought him up and raised him as a Christian.  After a dispute between the Christian regent and her daughter-in-law, Ludmila sought sancuary at Tetin Castle near Beroun.  St. Wenceslaus’s mother was furious about losing influence over her son, and arranged to have Ludmila strangled to death.  Legend has it that his mother, once she regained control of him set out to convert him to the pagan religion. 

Wenceslaus is usually described as exceptionally pious and humble, and a very educated and intelligent young man for his time.  In 924, at the age of 18, he assumed the throne.  Once he was in power, he had his his mother exiled, for her constant fighting with him about being Christian.  He also defeated a rebellious Duke at this young age.  He also founded a Rotunda consecrated to St. Vitus at Prague Castle in Prague.  This still remains, as the present day St. Vitus Cathedral.  

In 935 a group of nobles that were teamed up with Wenceslaus’ younger brother Boleslav, plotted to kill the Prince.  After Boleslav invited Wenceslaus to the feast of Saints Cosmos and Damian, three of Boleslav’s companions murdered Wenceslaus on his way to church.  Boleslav then became the Duke of Bohemia. 

Pracitcal Take Away

St. Wenceslaus was a very gifted young man and was faced with a lot of suffering at a young age.  His would become the heir to the Throne at an early age as well.  His father passed when he was 13, and he was raised by his grandmother.  She was a devout Christian, and went on to be canonized, St. Ludmila.  His mother who was of a pagan religion had her killed, and took her son back, trying to get him back into the pagan religion.  Finaly at the age of 18, he assumed the Throne and shortly after his brother and a gang of nobles conspired to have him killed.  He died a martyr at the age of 28, after a lot of responsibility was placed on him.  His life shows us that through it all, he kept the faith, remained true to God.  Despite all the things that were going on around him, that were out of his control, he never took his eyes off of Jesus.  This merited for him, canonization.