St. Adalbert, who was also known as Vojtěch, was born in 956 AD in Libice, Bohemia, which is now known as the Czech Republic.
He died as a martyr on April 23 997, near Gdańsk, Poland.
He was canonized in 999 and his feast day is commemorated on April 23 every year in the Catholic Church.
He was the first bishop of Prague to originate from the Czech region.
|St Adalbert of Prague Biography
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
|Libice, Bohemia, Czech Republic
|Bishop and Missionary work
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|April 23 997
|Place of Death
|Patron Saint of
2. Czech Republic
4. Prague, Czech Republic
5. Archdiocese of Esztergom, Hungary
St. Adalbert of Prague Biography
St. Adalbert of Prague was a saint of the Christian faith and a missionary from the Czech. He served as the Bishop of Prague and carried out missions to various places such as Hungary, Poland, and Prussia.
Unfortunately, he met a tragic fate as he was martyred while attempting to spread Christianity to the Prussians residing in the Baltic region.
St. Adalbert of Prague was named the patron saint of the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Duchy of Prussia, as well as the Archdiocese of Esztergom in Hungary.
He hailed from the Slavnik clan, which was one of the most influential families in Bohemia. His life events were documented by a Bohemian priest named Cosmas of Prague.
St. Adalbert was born into the family of Slavník, a duke who governed a region centered in Libice. His mother, Střezislava, was from the Přemyslid dynasty.
He had five siblings, namely Soběslav, Spytimír, Dobroslav, Pořej, and Čáslav.
Following a severe illness during his childhood, St. Adalbert of Prague was designated by his parents to serve God.
He received a good education and spent around a decade studying in Magdeburg under Adalbert of Magdeburg from Germany. During his confirmation, the young Vojtěch opted to take his mentor’s name “Adalbert”.
When Adalbert of Magdeburg died in 981 AD, his young student Adalbert returned to Bohemia. Later on, he was ordained as a Catholic priest by Bishop Dietmar of Prague.
In the year 982, Bishop Dietmar also died, and despite being below the required age, St Adalbert was selected to take his place as the Bishop of Prague.
Even though Adalbert came from a privileged background, he shunned extravagance and comfort, and was renowned for his acts of generosity and self-discipline.
Despite six years of preaching and devotion, he encountered limited success in converting the Bohemians, who clung steadfastly to their long-held pagan convictions.
Adalbert expressed his disapproval of Christians being involved in the slave trade and voiced his objections to prevalent practices of polygamy and idol worship among the population.
However, when he began to advocate for reforms, he faced resistance from both the secular authorities and the clergy.
Due to growing hostility, Adalbert was eventually banished and compelled to go into exile. In 988, he sought refuge in Rome, where he lived as a recluse in the Benedictine monastery of Saint Alexis.
Following Boleslaus’ request to Pope John XV, Adalbert was permitted to return to Prague after five years.
He resumed his role as Bishop of Prague and was initially welcomed with apparent signs of jubilation.
Adalbert made an unsuccessful attempt to safeguard a noblewoman who had been caught in adultery. The woman had taken refuge in a convent, but she was murdered nonetheless.
Adalbert reacted by excommunicating those responsible for the killing, in line with the principle of sanctuary.
Following this, it became unsafe for him to remain in Bohemia, and he fled Prague. Adalbert journeyed to Hungary and later arrived in Poland, where he was warmly received and appointed as the Bishop of Gniezno.
Once again, Adalbert gave up his position as the Bishop of Gniezno and embarked on a missionary journey to spread the gospel to the people living in the vicinity of Prussia.
Accompanied by his companions, Adalbert entered Prussian territory and journeyed along the coast of the Baltic Sea until he reached Gdańsk.
In this place, Adalbert spread the word of God using a book, but since the Prussian people were accustomed to oral communication, his use of a written text may have seemed suspicious or even evil to them.
As a result, he was compelled to leave the first village after a local leader struck him in the back of the head with an oar, causing the pages of his book to scatter on the ground. Adalbert and his companions had to flee across a river to escape.
Adalbert and his group proceeded to the market place of Truso, situated close to present-day Elbląg.
Unfortunately, they were attacked by a group of pagan people. The attack was led by a man named Sicco, who was probably a pagan priest.
Sicco was the first to strike Adalbert, after which the others joined in. When Adalbert was dead, they decapitated him and mounted his head on a pole to take back with them.
Shortly after his death, Adalbert’s body was recovered and buried in the cathedral of Gniezno, Poland, where he had previously served as bishop. Later, in the 11th century, his remains were transferred to the Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague.
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