Duke and Martyr
SIMPLE / RED
Son of a Christian duke of tenth-century Bohemia, Wenceslas received a pious upbringing from his grandmother St. Ludmilla, who later died a martyr. Taking over the government at the time of a strong pagan reaction among his people, Wenceslas labored with Christlike patience and mildness to stem this regression. He rebuilt churches, recalled exiled priests, and invited missioners from Germany. But Boleslas, the duke's heathen brother, had Wenceslas assassinated while he was on his way to Mass. The 22-year old martyr died uttering the words, "May God forgive you."
Mass of a MARTYR, except
O God, You raised blessed Wenceslas from his earthly honors to the glory of heaven by granting him the victory of martyrdom. May his prayers shield us from all harm and bring us to share his heavenly happiness. Through our Lord . . .