Feast: September 28
Educated by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla, Wenceslas became duke of Bohemia (in the Czech Republic) at 15, after his father’s death and an unsuccessful regency by his mother.
Though young, he tried to establish the rule of law, improve education, extend Christianity and open Bohemia to the West.
But he ran afoul of his nobles, who did not approve of his acknowledging the German king as their overlord, and of his younger brother’s ambition.
At a church dedication, Boleslas, the brother, provoked a fight with Wenceslas in which the latter was killed.
He was immediately venerated as a martyr.
The relics of this patron saint of Bohemia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.