Животът на Светците

Bohemian Saint: Good King Wenceslas, Part 2 of 2



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Biographies of Saint Wenceslas have had a powerful influence on the concept and image of a monarch whose power stems from his great piety. Immediately after his death, he was honored by the Bohemian people as a martyr and Saint. One preacher, Cosmas of Prague, stated, “But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his ‘Passion,’ no one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty, so much so that he was considered not a prince, but the father of all the wretched.”

During a lecture given in France in 2007, Supreme Master Ching Hai further explained how such qualities of humility are a sign of a good leader. “When you don’t care about position and power of a kingdom, then you can be the best king. Because you don’t do it for position, for gain, for respect from your subjects, but you’re doing it to take care of your people, to discharge your duty, as predestined before you’re born.”

Pope Benedict XVI called Saint Wenceslas “a martyr for Christ” during his 2009 visit to the Czech Republic. The pope stated that the Saint “had the courage to prefer the kingdom of Heaven to the enticement of worldly power.”

To close our program, we have a beautiful rendition of “Good King Wenceslas,” recorded in 1952 by the renowned choir Robert Shaw Chorale. These verses of the Christmas carol recount the journey of Saint Wenceslas and an assistant delivering food and pine logs to a peasant’s home on Saint Stephen’s Day. Through the freezing cold trek, the page fears that he may collapse in the snow. Saint Wenceslas tells his page to follow in his footsteps, which miraculously warm the page’s freezing feet.

May we, too, follow in the saintly footsteps of the good King Wenceslas, with his deep faith and great propensity for forgiveness, remembering God and showing kindness and compassion to all beings.

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