From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 18:57, June 25, 2006 by Joe Rodgers (talk | contribs) (starting this article, it needs work)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Our father among the saints and martyr Wenceslas (or Wenceslaus) (born 907, died September 28, 935 or 929) was the son of Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia. His father was raised in a Christian milieu through his father, Borivoj, who was converted by Saints Cyril and Methodius, the "Apostles to the Slavs". His mother, Drahomira, however, was the daughter of a tribal chief who held on to paganism, as did many Czech nobles at the time, fearing that the arrival of Christian bishops would threaten their authority. Wenceslaus himself was martyred and is venerated as a saint.


When Wenceslaus was thirteen his father died and he was brought up by his grandmother, Saint Ludmila, who raised him as a Christian. A dispute between the fervently Christian regent and her daughter-in-law drove Ludmila to seek sanctuary at Tetín Castle near Beroun. Drahomíra, who was trying to garner support from the nobility, was furious while losing influence on her son and arranged to have Ludmila strangled at Tetín on September 15, 921. According to some legends, having regained control of her son, Drahomíra set out to convert him to the old pagan religion. According to other legends she was herself a Christian.


In 924 or 925 Wenceslaus assumed government for himself and had Drahomíra exiled. After gaining the throne at the age of eighteen, he promoted the spread of Christianity throughout Bohemia. This was accomplished not only by building churches, such as future St. Vitus Cathedral (named after a Roman saint whose body was translated to Saxony from St. Denis) at Hrad