Good King Wenceslaus: Pray for us!

Today is the feast of St. Wencelas, most well known by the Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslaus”. According to what I’ve read, though, the carol does not record any actual even in his life…at least that has been recorded.

But I’ve listed it below anyhow.

Wenceslaus became duke of Bohemia and worked to end conflict between Christians and non-Christians, which was quite severe.

Story goes, as is recorded in today’s Office of Readings, that his brother Boleslav had wanted to succeed Wenceslas, yet when Wencelas’ son was born, this ruined his plan. In rage, Boleslav killed Wenceslaus, who, at the time of his murder, was on his way to church for Matins.

St Wenceslaus: Pray for us!

Oh, and here’s the song:

Good King Wenceslaus looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

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