A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Dysfunctional Family

Vaclav was a fine young man, raised by his grandmother in the Christian faith of his father. His mother, however, hated Christianity and when Vaclav's father died, she sought to drive it out of the country their family ruled.

Though he was not yet of age, responding to the pleas of the people, Vaclav overthrew his mother. He made an alliance with the neighboring superpower, brought in more priests, built churches and cared for the poor.

One Sunday, he was visiting a church in another town. He planned to return home after Mass, but his brother stopped him and made him stay the night.

Early the next morning, as the church bells rang, Vaclav rose and went out. His brother followed him to the church door.

Vaclav, knowing that his brother and his mother had been scheming against him, looked back at him and said: "Brother, you were a good subject to me yesterday".

"And now I intend to be a better one!" said his brother as he struck Vaclav's head with his sword.

Vaclav grabbed his brother and wrestled him to the ground, saying, "Brother, what are you trying to do?"

One of his brother's henchmen then stabbed Vaclav in the hand. Vaclav let go of his brother and went to take refuge in the church, but his brother's henchmen struck him down at the church door and ran him through with a sword.

They say that Vaclav, still a very young man, died there on this very day in the year 935 with the words: "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!"

The people immediately acclaimed Vaclav as a saint and a martyr. (Sadly, many remember him only through a Christmas carol by the Latinized form of his name: Wenceslaus).

He remains the patron saint of the Czech Republic.

Indeed, on this very day in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the very place where King Wenceslaus was martyred, interred, and venerated.

(updated from an earlier post)