Bishop and Martyr (956-997)
+ Adalbert was born in Libice nad Cidlinou, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic).
+ In 982, he was named bishop of Prague and he worked tireless to spread the Christian Faith. The local clergy resisted his attempts at reform and they succeeded in having him exiled in 990.
+ Adalbert traveled to Rome and became a Benedictine monk in the Monastery of Sts. Boniface and Alexius. The Pope ordered him to return to Bohemia, where he founded a Benedictine abbey at Brzevnov.
+ Exiled again, the people of Prague refused to recognize him as their bishop. Although he was ordered to return a second time, he was eventually granted to serve as a missionary bishop, spending the last years of his life ministering to the people of Poland along the Baltic coast.
+ Saint Adalbert was executed on April 23, 997, as a suspected spy. In 1039, his relics were moved to Prague and devotion to him spready quickly throughout Central Europe. The memorial of Saint Adalbert was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Saint John Paul II.
On this day, the Church also celebrates the memory of the martyr Saint George. Murdered in Lydda, Palestine, around the year 304, he is honored as the patron saint of England, Lithuania, Ethopia, Georgia, Portugal and several other countries. He is also celebrated as a patron saint of soldiers and of the Boy Scouts.
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”—John 10:11
O God, who bestowed the crown of martyrdom
on the Bishop Saint Adalbert,
as he burned with zeal for souls,
grant, we pray, by his prayers,
that the obedience of the flock may never fail the shepherds,
nor the care of the shepherds be ever lacking to the flock.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.