Czech patrons

Statue of St Wenceslas in the Wenceslas Square Have you ever thought which saints Czechs have as their national patrons and then, when they lived and who they were? Well, you can see five most important Czech patrons on Wenceslas Square. On its top is a famous and big sculpture of Saint Wenceslas (Vaclav) riding a horse, who is surrounded by Saint Adalbert (Vojtech), Ludmila, Agnes (Anezka) and Prokop.

So the main Czech patron is St. Wenceslas. He was a duke, who ruled in Bohemia in 10th century, he helped to spread Christianity here, he founded future Saint Vitus Cathedral (at his times it was built as a small rotunda) and in 28th of September 935 (or in 929 as some says) was murdered by his own brother Boleslaus (Boleslav), who gained the Bohemian throne this way. But Boleslaus soon started to regret his villainy in public and Wenceslas was canonised as a Saint very shortly after his death. 28th of September is since then celebrated as his feast day, and since 2000 it is a day of public holiday (Czech Statehood Day).

One of the figures, which surround St. Wenceslas, is his grandmother Ludmila. She educated his grandson in Christianity, which make jealous her daughter in law, Wenceslas´mother Drahomíra, who send two noblemen to kill Ludmila. She was strangled with her own scarf. She was also canonized shortly after her death.

Other very important Czech patron is St. Adalbert. He was a bishop of Prague, founded a monastery in Brevnov, but later he fled from Prague to Hungary, where he baptised her ruler, then he spend some time in Poland and after that he went to Prussia with a Christian mission, where he was murdered by pagans in 997. He is considered to be a patron not only of Czechs but also of other nations.

Then there is St. Agnes, a princess who lived in 13th century. She refused to accept politically arranged marriage and instead decided for religious life and work. She founded the convent and hospital of St. Francis. She died in 1282, being 71 years old.

Last person on St. Wenceslas sculptural group is St. Prokop. He lived in 10th and 11th century as an eremite monk in nearby of Sazava River. By the time he gathered around himself a group of men who also wanted to live in a same way of religious life as he did, which led to foundation of Sázava monastery (Sázavský klášter).

Those mentioned above are the most important of Czech patrons, but not the only ones. As other Czech patrons are also considered Jan Nepomucký (Johannes of Nepomuk) Konstantinus (Cyril) and Methodius (Metodej), Saint Vitus (Vit) and Sigmund (Zigmund). Even John Huss (Jan Hus), who was never recognized as a saint by a Catholic Church (how could be, when he was burnt as a heretic on a stake), could be consider as a one of the patrons of this country. So Czechs have many of them but none is such popular as St. Wenceslas.

Aug 8, 17:46 (Filed under: Other )

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