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Friday, September 28, 2007

Feast Day of my 2007 Patron

This year, St. Wenceslaus chose me and, initially, for the life of me I really couldn't figure out the connection. I am not Czeck, I am not royalty, nor am I in government. But chosen me he has, and so I placed my hand in his and asked him to help lead me closer to Jesus as we journey through 2007.

I have done some research to learn more about this saint, whose name is so familiar to us in the Christmas song:

"Good King Wenceslaus looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
And the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even!"

The song tells the story of St. Wenceslaus, King of Bavaria (patron St. of Bavaria and Czechoslavalkia)who was out with his Page and saw a poor man gathering firewood to keep warm. They tramped through the snow, King Wenceslaus sending the page to find out what the poor man needed and how to best help him. The song also discusses the Page walking the Saint's footprints in the snow because Wenceslaus led the way to the man who needed their help.

The song is not really based on his life, but just the same, what an image of Christ to us all! But he was more than a song; this man stood as a rock in the face of the persecution of his own time, placing his trust in Christ rather than in the world.

Wenceslaus was born of pagan parents but raised as a Christian by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla. When he was older, St. Ludmilla encouraged him or, rather, somewhat pushed him into a governmental role which he intially resisted. In that time and place, the government was ruled by pagans. (Sound familiar? Although in our culture we call them "Democrats").

St. Ludmilla was murdered by the pagan regime for she was also an outspoken Christian.

Wenceslaus was murdered by his own brother and his brothers' associates on the steps of a Church, having refused to cowtoe to the pagan animosity towards his Christian stance. They cut him to pieces and buried him. His brother later repented and had his remains moved to the Basilica of the Infant of Prague, where they are today.

He was dedicated to Jesus, to teaching the faith in a pagan nation, and is the patron of Bavaria and Czechloslovalkia. He is known for his virtues, especially that of Patience.

In reviewing his story, I see a few parallels...I am a fledgling catechist, I am involved in parish leadership, I just began working formally in a church in the area of faith formation, and I am completely without virtue. So perhaps he has taken pity on my inability to overcome attachment to sin and is going to help me to obtain the Virtues he exemplefied so much? Patience, Humility, Temperance, Fortitude...

And I'll really appreciate it if he helps me with the upcoming presentations I have to give, and an article I have to write for the parish newsletter.

St. Wenceslaus, pray for us!


Anonymous said...

Great post, EXCEPT one thing: "I am completely without virtue." That is NOT true.. no one is completely without virtue, at least no baptized soul. Do NOT be so hard on yourself! And remember Christ's own words, "My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection..."

uncle jim said...

oh, virtuous one, be my companion as we tell the world about Jesus the Nazarene.

i / we need you along side us as we breach the ranks of the pagans around us.

thanks for being faithful. you are a stalwart warrior, a steadfast partner, a fool .... for the Lord.

Adoro, we thank you.

Hidden One said...

I'm not St. Wenceslaus, but I'm praying for you.

Cathy_of_Alex said...


I agree with anon. You are not completely without virtue.

Thanks for the info on St. Wenceslaus. My missal also says he was a consecrated virgin. You don't need to comment on that aspect of his life. ;-) No comment here either-other then I admire him for it!

Melody said...

I love the song "Good King Wenceslaus". We sang it for vespers last night, even though it is still 80° outside. My husband puts up with my weirdness! :)

Terry Nelson said...

I think you have many virtues - one I most admire is the virtue of fortitude which you exhibit. You are a very good Christian.

uncle jim said...

and on top of all that, you really work at it.
i think most of us just sit idly by waiting for it to come to us.
you go get it.

Adoro te Devote said...

smk ~ I swear you are a literalist! LOL! Trust you to pick up on my use of hyperbole.

Yes, perhaps I have a few small virtues, but if you were to speak to my Confessor (any of them, although they won't say anything, anyway), you'd realize how virtueless I am. And I am ashamed.

uncle jim ~ I'm trying! Really hard!

hidden one ~ I love your prayers. You're also in mine.

cathy ~ He was a consecrated virgin...I don't think most of the world realizes that, but what an awesome witness. And while I'm maybe not COMPLETELY without virtue, well, pretty close. Readings in Aumann's "Spiritual Theology" reveal a great deal to a soul as confused as mine.

Melody ~ Trust St. Wenceslaus to help lead you home. If you have questions in the faith and how to teach them...go to him. He's so ready to help!

Terry ~ If you only realized that this is one of the virtues I struggle with the most. On second thought, I struggle with all of them the most!

And I'm not being hyperbolic here...I'm totally serious. Today it was revealed to me how unholy I am, and how many virtues I really don't possess. My blog seems like such a lie because it paints such a picture...and I can't live up to it.

Adoro te Devote said...

uncle jim ~ But I do just wait for it to come to me. I'm guilty. Really. I paint this picture of holiness, but it's more about what I want to be...not who I am. But yeah, I'm trying.

uncle jim said...

it sounds like you need to go to bed and get a goooooood night's sleep

Hidden One said...

I was going to think up another comment, but uncle jim's comment hath convicted me. It's 1:30 AM here, and I'm gonna be at a 9:00 AM Mass. Night!

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Hey! I always wondered about St. Wenceslaus and what the heck that song was saying about him! I can't believe that with the internet, I never bothered to look it up, so thanks! Oh-and I wanted to be the one to comment on the fact that you are not without virtue, see, right there (in admitting you have no virtue) you have humility! Haha on you-'cause THAT'S a biggie!

Maureen said...

Re: no virtue

Seeing how bad you are is a very normal thing for someone working on getting closer to God. It's not a bad sign; it's the sort of thing that happens. Orientation.

Re: St. Wenceslaus

Anybody who's a patron of vintners is a personal friend of mine. :)