Legends of the Blessed Sacrament – The Devotion of Saint Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, to the Blessed Sacrament

Article

When this Saint, who owed his religious training to the piety of his grandmother Saint Ludmilla, his mother Drahomira being a heathen, came to the government of Bohemia, his over-ruling desire was to win his entire kingdom to the Catholic faith. It was striking to see the young Duke, tired with the business of the day, passing whole nights in prayer for his people before the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Daily he was in the habit of hearing Holy Mass, kneeling on the stone flags of the church. It was a joy to him to see the priests at the altar, and to dress the altars himself, for his love for Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament was very great. On this account he would prepare the breads intended for the Hosts in Holy Communion with hie own hands. The corn-field devoted to this purpose he not only tilled and sowed, but he also would be seen reaping the same, and, after grinding the corn into the finest flour, would himself prepare and bake the altar-breads, and humbly present them to the priest. Often in the midst of a winter’s night he would rise from his couch in order to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His soul was so inflamed with the love of God that it imparted heat even to his very body.

On one occasion, in company with a servant, he went barefoot to the church in the depth of winter. Ice and snow covered the ground. Wenceslas stepped bravely forward, the servant following, trembling and bitterly complaining of the pain which his feet suffered from the deep snow. Then did the Saint advise him to tread in his footsteps; and behold a pleasant warmth imparted itself to the feet of the servant, who now followed the Saint with gladness. It was his love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which gave birth to those sweet graces of his character which rendered him so femous through the whole length and breadth of his dominions — his humility, his zeal for the honour of God, his inflexible justice, and his most tender compassion for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the forsaken.

As might be expected, such virtues gained him also many enemies, and his heathen mother united with his godless brother in a scheme for putting him out of the way. Now when a son was born to the brother of the Saint, he and his mother invited Wenceslas to pay them a visit. Without suspicion of their purpose the Saint aocepted the invitation. But the following night, entering, according to his wont, into, the church to pray before the altar, he was assailed by his murderers, and by his own brother pierced through with a lance on the 28th September 936.

MLA Citation

  • Emily Mary Shapcote. “The Devotion of Saint Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, to the Blessed Sacrament”. Legends of the Blessed Sacrament, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 November 2014. Web. 19 November 2017. <>