Václav I Duke of Bohemia, Saint (c.907 - c.935)

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Nicknames: "Wenceslaus I", "Saint Wenceslaus"
Birthplace: Prague, Bohemia
Death: Died in Stara Boleslav, Bohemia
Occupation: Český kníže
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Václav I Duke of Bohemia, Saint

Saint Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia (1)

M, #150026, d. 929

Last Edited=10 Jul 2005

    Saint Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia was the son of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia. (1) 

He died in 929. (1) He was also reported to have died in 935. (2)

    Saint Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia was a member of the House of Premysl. (1) He succeeded to the title of Duke of Bohemia in 921. (1)

Forrás / Source:

http://www.thepeerage.com/p15003.htm#i150026

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Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wenceslaus or Wenceslas (Czech: Václav, Help:IPA [ˈva:tslaf] (help·info), former Věnceslav [Vientseslaf]) (c. 907 – September 28, 935) was duke (kníže) of Bohemia from 921 until his death. Wenceslas is best known in the English-speaking world as the subject of the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas".

He was the son of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia from the Přemyslid dynasty. His father was raised in a Christian milieu through his father, Bořivoj, who was converted by Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the "apostles to the Slavs". His mother Drahomíra was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief of Havolans and was baptized at the time of her marriage. Wenceslaus himself is venerated as Saint Wenceslaus and is the main patron saint of the Czech state.

Childhood

In 921, 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 about 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. Very little is known about her rule.

Career

In 924 or 925 Wenceslaus assumed government for himself and had Drahomíra exiled. After gaining the throne at the age of eighteen, he defeated rebellious duke of Kouřim named Radslav. He also founded a rotunda consecrated to St Vitus at Prague Castle in Prague, present day St Vitus Cathedral.

Early in 929 the joint forces of Arnulf of Bavaria and Henry I the Fowler reached Prague in a sudden attack, which forced Wenceslaus to pledge allegiance to the latter.[clarify] This was materialized in resuming the payment of a traditional tribute which was first imposed already in 806. One of the possible reasons for the attack was the formation of the anti-Saxon alliance between Bohemia, Polabian Slavs and Magyars.

[edit]Death

In September of 935 (in older sources 929), a group of nobles allied with Wenceslaus's younger brother, Boleslaus (Boleslav I of Bohemia), in a plot to kill the prince. After inviting his brother to the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Stará Boleslav, three of Boleslaus' companions, Tira, Čsta and Hněvsa murdered him on his way to church. Boleslaus thus succeeded him as the Duke/Prince (kníže) of Bohemia.

According to Cosmas's chronicle, one of Boleslav's sons was born on the day of Wenceslaus's death, and because of the ominous circumstance of his birth the infant was named Strachkvas, which means "a dreadful feast".

There are discrepancies in the records regarding the date of Wenceslaus's death. It has been argued that Wenceslaus's remains were transferred to St Vitus's Church in 932, ruling out the later date; however, the year 935 is now favoured by historians as the date of his murder (note: a St. Joseph Catholic Missal, c.1962, gives the date of death in 938).

There is a tradition which states that Saint Wenceslaus's loyal servant, Podevin, avenged his death by killing one of the chief conspirators. Podevin was executed by Boleslav.

[edit]Canonization and other memorials

After his death, Wenceslaus was canonised as a saint due to his martyr's death, as well as several purported miracles that occurred after his death. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of the Czech people and the Czech Republic. His feast day is September 28. Since the year 2000, this day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic, celebrated as Czech Statehood Day. In his honour, a statue of Wenceslaus clad in armour on horseback stands in Prague's Václavské náměstí (Wenceslaus Square). The sculptor was Josef Václav Myslbek. A memorable parody of this statue, created by David Černý, hangs in a Lucerna Palace gallery near the square. He is also the patron saint of one of Chicago's most architecturally significant churches, St. Wenceslaus.

Wenceslaus in fiction

There are many legends about King Wenceslaus. An old legend says that a huge army of knights sleep inside Blaník, a mountain in the Czech Republic. The knights will wake and under the command of St. Wenceslaus will help the Motherland when it is in ultimate danger. (See also King in the mountain legends)

There is a similar legend in Prague, which says that when the Motherland is in danger or in its darkest times and close to ruin, the equestrian statue of King Wenceslaus in Wenceclaus Square will come to life, raise the army sleeping in Blaník, and upon crossing the Charles Bridge his horse will stumble and trip over a stone that will reveal the legendary sword of Bruncvík. With this sword, King Wenceslaus will slay all the enemies of the Czechs, bringing peace and prosperity to the land.

He is the subject of the popular Boxing Day and Christmas Carol "Good King Wenceslas".

There is a 1994 television film entitled Good King Wenceslaus which is a highly fictional account of his early life. The film stars Jonathan Brandis in the title role, supported by Leo McKern, Stefanie Powers, and Joan Fontaine as Ludmila.

Wenceslaus is a major character in Ogden Nash's comic epic poem "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't," in which a boy awakens Wenceslaus and his knights to save a kingdom from usurpers who have outlawed Christmas.

References

St. Wenceslaus at the Catholic Encyclopedia

St. Wenceslaus at the Patron Saints Index

St. Wenceslaus at Catholic Online

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Saint Wenceslaus or Saint Wenceslas (Czech: Václav) Help:IPA [ˈva:tslaf] (help·info), (c. 907 – September 28, 935) was duke (kníže) of Bohemia from 921 until his death. Wenceslas is best known in the English-speaking world as the subject of the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas."

He was the son of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia from the Přemyslid dynasty. His father was raised in a Christian milieu through his father, Bořivoj, who was converted by Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the "apostles to the Slavs". His mother Drahomíra was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief of Havolans and was baptized at the time of her marriage. Wenceslaus himself is venerated as Saint Wenceslaus and is the main patron saint of the Czech state.

Contents [hide]

1 Childhood

2 Reign

3 Death

4 Canonization and other memorials

5 Wenceslaus in legend

6 References

6.1 Footnotes


[edit] Childhood

In 921, 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 about 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. Very little is known about her rule.

[edit] Reign

In 924 or 925 Wenceslaus assumed government for himself and had Drahomíra exiled. After gaining the throne at the age of eighteen, he defeated a rebellious duke of Kouřim named Radslav. He also founded a rotunda consecrated to St Vitus at Prague Castle in Prague, which exists as present-day St Vitus Cathedral.

Early in 929 the joint forces of Arnulf of Bavaria and Henry I the Fowler reached Prague in a sudden attack, which forced Wenceslaus to pledge allegiance to the latter.[clarify] This resulted in resuming the payment of a traditional tribute which was first imposed in 806. One of the possible reasons for the attack was the formation of the anti-Saxon alliance between Bohemia, Polabian Slavs and Magyars.

[edit] Death

In September of 935 (in older sources 929) a group of nobles allied with Wenceslaus's younger brother, Boleslaus (Boleslav I of Bohemia), in a plot to kill the prince. After inviting his brother to the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Stará Boleslav, three of Boleslaus' companions--Tira, Čsta and Hněvsa--murdered him on his way to church. Boleslaus thus succeeded him as the Duke/Prince (kníže) of Bohemia.

According to Cosmas's Chronicle, one of Boleslav's sons was born on the day of Wenceslaus's death, and because of the ominous circumstance of his birth the infant was named Strachkvas, which means "a dreadful feast".

A statue of Saint Wenceslaus and other patrons of The Czech Republic (St Adalbert/Vojtěch of Prague, St Ludmila, St Prokop and St Agnes "Czech") is located at Wenceslaus square in Prague.

There are discrepancies in the records regarding the date of St Wenceslaus's death. It has been argued that Wenceslaus's remains were transferred to St Vitus's Church in 932, ruling out the later date; however, the year 935 is now favored by historians as the date of his murder.[1]

There is a tradition which states that Saint Wenceslaus's loyal servant, Podevin, avenged his death by killing one of the chief conspirators. Podevin was executed by Boleslav.

[edit] Canonization and other memorials

After his death, Wenceslaus was canonized as a saint due to his martyr's death, as well as several purported miracles that occurred after his death. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of the Czech people and the Czech Republic. His feast day is September 28.

Since 2000, this day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic, celebrated as Czech Statehood Day.

In his honor, a statue of Wenceslaus clad in armour on horseback stands in Prague's "Václavské Náměstí" (Wenceslaus Square). The sculptor was Josef Václav Myslbek. A memorable parody of this statue, created by David Černý, hangs in a Lucerna Palace gallery near the square.

He is also the patron saint of one of Chicago's most architecturally significant churches, St. Wenceslaus.

[edit] Wenceslaus in legend

There are many legends about King Wenceslaus. An old one claims a huge army of knights sleep inside Blaník, a mountain in the Czech Republic. The knights will wake and under the command of St. Wenceslaus will help the Motherland when it is in ultimate danger (see also King in the mountain legends).

There is a similar legend in Prague which says that when the Motherland is in danger or in its darkest times and close to ruin, the equestrian statue of King Wenceslaus in Wenceclaus Square will come to life, raise the army sleeping in Blaník, and upon crossing the Charles Bridge his horse will stumble and trip over a stone, revealing the legendary sword of Bruncvík. With this sword, King Wenceslaus will slay all the enemies of the Czechs, bringing peace and prosperity to the land.

He is the subject of the popular Boxing Day and Christmas Carol "Good King Wenceslas."

There is a 1994 television film entitled Good King Wenceslaus which is a highly fictional account of his early life. The film stars Jonathan Brandis in the title role, supported by Leo McKern, Stefanie Powers, and Joan Fontaine as Ludmila.[2]

Wenceslaus is a major character in Ogden Nash's comic epic poem "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't," in which a boy awakens Wenceslaus and his knights to save a kingdom from usurpers who have outlawed Christmas.[3]

[edit] References

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Václav I Duke of Bohemia, Saint's Timeline

907
907
Prague, Bohemia
925
925
Age 18
Bohemia - aka Vaclav the Christian
925
Age 18
Bohemia,,
935
September 28, 935
Age 28
Stara Boleslav, Bohemia
????
Church Of St. Vitus, Prague
????
Church of St. Vitus, Prague
????
Church Of St. Vitus, Prague
????
Church Of St. Vitus, Prague
????
Cesky Krumlov - St. Vitus Church, Czech Republic