Saint Wenceslaus

St. Wenceslaus (907–935 A.D.) was the son of the Duke of Bohemia. His grandfather was converted to Christianity by the missionaries Sts. Cyril and Methodius. His mother, Dragomir, was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief who was baptized at her marriage. After the death of his father, Wenceslaus received a Christian upbringing from his grandmother, St. Ludmila, while his mother reverted to her pagan ways. Dragomir reigned as regent, had St. Ludmila killed, and worked to oppose the spread of Christianity in Bohemia. When St. Wenceslaus was 18 he took control of the government and exiled his mother. St. Wenceslaus was described as a pious, humble, and intelligent ruler who worked to established Christianity in the land that would become part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was known for his vow of virginity, his many virtues, and his life of prayer and good works. After a political dispute arose, his mother and his younger brother, called Boleslaus the Cruel, plotted his murder along with a group of disaffected nobles. Boleslaus invited his brother to celebrate the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, and arranged to have him assassinated on his way to Mass. St. Wenceslaus muttered words of forgiveness as he died, and his body was buried at the murder site. His brother succeeded him as Duke of Bohemia. Three years later Boleslaus repented of his crime, and had his brother's remains transferred to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. Wenceslaus was considered a saint by the people at the time of his death. His feast day is September 28th.
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