Cardinal Schönborn New Papal Envoy on the 1100 anniversary of St Ludmila’s Martyrdom

Saint Ludmila is considered the first Christian martyr in Bohemia and a symbol of Christianity in Czech Republic.

Newsroom (August 25, 2021 15:46 PM, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, OP Archbishop of Vienna, as his special envoy for the celebrations for the 1,100th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Ludmila. She is the first Bohemian Saint and grandmother of Prince St. Wenceslaus.

The Catholic Church in the Czech Republic will celebrate this anniversary with diverse commemorative events throughout the country. September 18 will mark the celebration’s highlight at the site of St. Ludmila’s martyrdom in the town of Tetin, near Prague.

St. Ludmila’s life

Saint Ludmila was born in 859 in Lusatia, a region that today corresponds to the territories of Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. As a teenager, she married the duke of Bohemia, Borisvoj, and was baptized with her husband by St. Methodius, the apostle of the Slavs.

Having soon become a widow, Ludmila donated all her possessions to the poor. After the death of her eldest son, Vratislaus the nobles entrusted the regency of the duchy to his wife Drahomira and the education of her eldest grandson Wenceslaus to his Christian grandmother.

First Christian martyr in Bohemia

The regent, in a fit of jealousy, accused Ludmila of intending to rule the duchy by influencing Wenceslaus and forced her to retreat to Tetin Castle. There, on the night of September 15, 920, she was strangled on the probable by order of Drahomira.

Ludmila is considered the first Christian martyr in Bohemia, a symbol of Christianity in Czechoslovak land and an expression of Bohemian unity within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, namely during the second half of the last century. (EPC)

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Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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