I had absolutely no idea about Good King Wenceslas (907 – 935AD) – I have heartily sung his carol every year, without being aware of his story …
Another of those Bohemian tales … of intrigue, cruelty, murder and power struggles in the medieval period.
He was a good man … not a king, but a duke - who was murdered in AD 935 by his brother Boleslav: to whom he had generously given lands and status.
|Boleslav town where Wenceslas lived
A mass burial site at Budec was found in 1982 … it is north of Prague … the Budec massacre is not mentioned in history, but it is speculated that it was part of “the wave of violence that reportedly followed the murder of the Duke”, while Boleslav secured the area. The younger brother was more of the time and place in history: cruel and power hungry …
|St Peter and Paul Church, Budec, Kladno
... a prehistoric place of settlement
The martyrdom of Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia … quickly gave rise to a reputation for heroic goodness, resulting in his being elevated to sainthood, posthumously declared king, seen as the patron saint of the Czech state, and who today comes down to us as a man of peace and goodwill.
|St Wenceslas Chapel, St Vitus
Let us bring peace to our fellow citizens … helping make our world a better place for everyone – give and receive a smile, live and give hope ….
So let the last two lines of the carol ring out:
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.
Have blessed, peaceful, generous Christmases, New Years with remembrances into 2017 …
I'll be back in the New Year and around otherwise ...
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