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!