The Catholic Defender: Saint Adalbert of Prague
Saint of the Day: Saint Adalbert of Prague
Opposition to the Good News of Jesus did not discourage Adalbert, who is now remembered with great honor in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Germany.
Born to a noble family in Bohemia, he received part of his education from Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg. At the age of 27, he was chosen as bishop of Prague. Those who resisted his program of clerical reform forced him into exile eight years later.
Adalbert, first archbishop of Magdeburg. Elected as bishop in 982, Adalbert promoted the political aims of Boleslav II, prince of Bohemia, by extending the influence of the church beyond the borders of the Czech kingdom.
Critical of the superficial attitude to Christianity prevalent in the country, Adalbert departed in 988 with the intention of leading the ascetic life of a monk.
On papal orders he returned in 992 to find little change. He came into sharp conflict with some of the nobility and was probably drawn into the growing feuds
In time, the people of Prague requested his return as their bishop. Within a short time, however, he was exiled again after excommunicating those who violated the right of sanctuary by dragging a woman accused of adultery from a church and murdering her.
After a short ministry in Hungary, he went to preach the Good News to people living near the Baltic Sea. He and two companions were martyred by pagan priests in that region. Adalbert’s body was immediately ransomed and buried in the Gniezno, Poland, cathedral. In the mid-11th century his relics were moved to Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague. His liturgical feast is celebrated on April 23.
Adalbert was later declared the patron saint of the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Duchy of Prussia. He is also the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Esztergom in Hungary.
in 994 he left Bohemia again to become a missionary along the Baltic coast, where he was martyred three years later. An account of Adalbert’s life was written by his friend and discipleSt. Bruno of Querfurt.
In 999, scarcely two years after his death, Adalbert was canonized as Saint Adalbert of Prague by Pope Sylvester II.