Who was Saint Wenceslaus?
Czech Svatý Václav, was born in 907, in Stochov. The son of Duke of Bohemia from the Premyslid dynasty, and his mother was Drahomíra.
In 921, when Wenceslaus was about thirteen, his father died leaving the kingdom of Bohemia in the hands of his pagan mother, who favored the anti-Christian factions. Wenceslaus saintly grandmother, Ludmila raised Wenceslaus and took over his education. Ludmila was determined that Wenceslaus would do two things: first to become a Christian and second to rule his country instead of mother. Jealous of the influence that Ludmila wielded over Wenceslaus, Drahomíra arranged to have Ludmila killed.
Wenceslaus eventually made peace with his mother so that he could govern. He worked with the Church, ending the persecution of the Christians, he brought back exiled priests, and built churches. Wenceslaus gave alms, visited prisoners, and promoted the religious and educational improvement of his people. To do this, Wenceslaus had to make peace with the king of the German empire at the expense of Bohemian nationalism. This caused opposition. Nobles grew angry because they were ruled by a Christian king.
Boleslaus, the brother of Wenceslaus, was jealous that he was king. The next morning as Wenceslaus was on his way to Mass, Boleslaus hit him. As they struggled, the friends of Boleslaus ran up and killed King Wenceslaus at the chapel door. Before he died, Wenceslaus asked God’s mercy for his brother. Immediately, Wenceslaus was recognized as a martyr. He was proclaimed patron of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. His picture was engraved on coins, and the crown of Wenceslaus was regarded as a symbol of Czech nationalism and independence.
Saint Day: September 28th
Meaning of Wenceslaus: Slavic meaning Great Glory
The story behind the carol Good King Wenceslaus: Is a carol for the Feast of St. Stephen or Boxing Day. Wenceslaus was a 10th-century Catholic Duke of Bohemia also known as Vaclav the Good, and was martyred after being assassinated by his wicked brother, Boleslaw the Bad.