St. Wenceslaus

Duke, Martyr

September 28

Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was the son of Wratislaus, who was a Christian, and Drahomira, a pagan, and was brought up in a devout way by his grandmother, Ludmilla, a most holy woman. He was famed for all kinds of virtue and took great care to keep his virginity intact throughout his life. The brutal murder of his grandmother, Ludmilla, left his mother secure in the administration of the kingdom. The irreligious life of Drahomira and her younger son, Boleslaus, aroused the indignation of the nobles. Weary of this godless rule, they threw off the yoke of Drahomira and Boleslaus and hailed Wenceslaus as ruler in the city of Prague.

He ruled the kingdom more by love than by power, and was careful and constant in relieving the nedy and the afflicted. He honored priests with the highest veneration, and with his own hands sowed the wheat and pressed the wine to be used for the sacrifice of the Mass.

When he had been decorated by the emperor with royal insignia, his wicked brother, at the instigation of his mother, killed him while he was praying in a church. His blood may still be seen sprinkled on the walls.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1581-1582.

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Epistle and Gospel for September 28