Several thousand people gathered in the town of Stará Boleslav on Thursday
for the annual pilgrimage of St. Wenceslas dedicated to the patron saint of
the Czech nation. An open air mass held outside the church where the prince
was murdered by dissenters, was celebrated by Papal Nuncius Charles Daniel
Events in the town include theatre performances, concerts and a traditional St. Wenceslas fair. Believers also marked the 10th anniversary of a visit to Stará Boleslav by Pope Benedict XVI. A bust of the pope was unveiled on the town’s main square on the occasion.
September 28, the day on which the prince was murdered, is observed as the Day of Czech Statehood and is a public holiday.
St. Wenceslas Day or the Day of Czech Statehood, on September 28th, will
kick off a month of nation-wide celebrations marking the centenary of the
birth of Czechoslovakia.
Prague’s famous astronomical clock on Old Town Square which has been undergoing restoration work will start marking time again at 6pm on Friday.
State institutions will open their doors to the public and celebrations marking 100 years of Czech sport will be held at Prague Castle.
Throughout the month of October there will be exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and street happenings celebrating the Czechoslovak centenary leading up to the highlight on October 28 – a grand military parade, the re-opening of the National Museum and a ceremony marking Czechoslovak Independence Day at Prague Castle.
Ahead of the Day of Czech Statehood on September 28th, special screenings of the silent film “Svatý Václav” (Saint Wenceslas), accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of Prague, are taking place at the grandiose Municipal House, the very site of the proclamation of the Czechoslovak Republic one hundred years ago.
Few people know that Good King Wenceslas, one of the best-known Christmas carols in the English-speaking world sung on the Feast of Saint Stephen, refers to a Bohemian duke who ruled in the 10th century. Good King Wenceslas is none other than St. Václav, the patron saint of the Czech nation. Paradoxically, the carol is almost unknown in this country.
Several thousand people gathered in the town of Stara Boleslav on Thursday for the annual pilgrimage of St. Wenceslas dedicated to the patron saint of the Czech nation. An open air mass held outside the church where the prince was murdered by dissenters, among them his brother Boleslav, was served by Bishop Frantisek Lobkowicz. The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, spoke about St. Wenceslas'legacy. Events in the town include theatre performances, concerts and a traditional St. Wenceslas fair. September 28, the day on which the prince was murdered,is observed as the Day of Czech Statehood and is a public holiday.
Czechs on Wednesday marked the Day of Czech Statehood and paid tribute to the patron saint of Bohemia St. Wenceslas, murdered on this day (by his brother Boleslav) in the year 935. The town of Stará Boleslav saw a traditional pilgrimage and mass on Marianské square near the church where he died. The mass was celebrated by Bishop Vojtěch Cikrle and the guest preacher was Cardinal Joachim Meisner, holder of the Czech Republic's highest state honour, the Order of the White Lion. For the first time, the mass was attended by President Miloš Zeman, who on the day called St. Wenceslas "one of the teachers of European civilization". Others who took part in the pilgrimage to Stará Boleslav were former president Václav Klaus, Deputy Prime Minister and Christian Democrat leader Pavel Bělobrádek, and leader of opposition party TOP 09 Miroslav Kalousek. September 28 has been a national holiday since the year 2000.
September 28 is the Feast Day of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. The son of a duke, Wenceslas ruled the country from 922, when he was 15, to his untimely death at the hands of his brother Boleslav on September 28, 935. The day is celebrated as 'Czech Statehood day', and is a public holiday. In this special program Dominik Jůn visits the town of Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav, where Wenceslas was murdered on his way to mass. His guide is Petra Fialová from the town’s Information Centre.
Monday is the Day of Czech Statehood, a national holiday that is held annually on St. Wenceslas Day. It was on September 28, 935 that St. Wenceslas, the Duke of Bohemia and today patron of the Czech state, was murdered by his brother Boleslav the Cruel. Like last year, the holiday is accompanied by an exhibition for children entitled My State explaining symbols of the Czech nation; this year it opened several days ahead of the anniversary outside Liechtenstein Palace at Prague's Kampa.
Hello and welcome to a special programme marking Czech Statehood day, which is also the feast day of St. Wenceslas. I am joined for a look at the life of St. Wenceslas – or St. Václav – by Tomáš Petráček, who is a theologian, priest, religious historian, and author with a diocese in the Czech city of Hradec Králové.