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Good Prince Vaclav [for St. Stephen's Day, 12/26]
The Confessing Reader ^ | 12/26/2005 | Confessing Reader

Posted on 12/26/2005 11:36:48 AM PST by sionnsar

December 26th, 2005

St Wenceslas of Bohemia (from Orthodox England on the Net)

Good King Wenceslas looked out On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, Deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, Gath’ring winter fuel.

‘Hither, page, and stand by me; If thou know’st it, telling -
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?’
‘Sire, he lives a good league hence, Underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, By St Agnes’ fountain.’

‘Bring me flesh, and bring me wine! Bring me pine logs hither!
Thou and I will see him dine When we bear them thither.’
Page and monarch forth they went, Forth they went together,
Through the rude wind’s wild lament And the bitter weather.

‘Sire, the night is darker now, And the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer.’
‘Mark my footsteps, good my page, Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage Freeze thy blood less coldly.’

In his master’s steps he trod, Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor Shall yourselves find blessing.

John Mason Neale (181-1866), distinguished liturgist and the greatest of English translators of medieval Latin hymns, wrote these words to fit a splendid fourteenth-century tune he found in Piae Cantiones (1582), where it is the setting for a spring song, Tempus adest floridum.

Wenceslas (or Wenceslaus) is an anglicized form of Wenzel, the germanized form of Vaclav. Vaclav the Good, celebrated in this text, reigned as duke in Bohemia from 922 to 929. He was the son of Duke Wratislaw and received a good Christian education, supervised by his grandmother, St Ludmila. After Wratislaw’s death around 920, Vaclav’s mother, Drahomira, became regent, but her violent actions so estranged the people that Vaclav took over the government himself in 922. A man of great piety, he worked for the religious and cultural improvement of his people and sought to bring them into closer connection with Western Europe, entertaining friendly relations with Germany. This policy, and the dissatisfaction of the pagan elements of the populace, probably led to his being martyred by his brother, Boleslav, around 929. He was soon venerated as a martyr, and Boleslav himself had Vaclav’s relics translated to the Church of St Vitus in Prague. His feast day of September 28 has been observed in Bohemia, whose patron he became, since 985.

Neale’s carol is not based on any known incident in the live of Wenceslas, but is probably intended as a pious illustration of the virtue of charity, St Stephen’s Day (or Boxing Day) being a traditional day for giving to the poor.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ststephen; ststephensday

1 posted on 12/26/2005 11:36:49 AM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; ..
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 12/26/2005 11:37:53 AM PST by sionnsar (†† || Libs: Celebrate MY diversity, eh! || Iran Azadi 2006)
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To: sionnsar


3 posted on 12/26/2005 11:40:07 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: sionnsar

Butler and others state that this Christian monarch supplied all of the wine for the altars of his kingdom and that he was martyred by his own brother on the eve of Michaelmass while praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

4 posted on 12/26/2005 11:46:31 AM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be exorcised.)
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To: sionnsar
That "Good King Wenceslas" song brings back memories, thanks for posting this!!

Happy St. Stephen's Day Sion!!!

5 posted on 12/26/2005 12:58:25 PM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (~~~A vote for Bertie Ahern is a vote for Gerry Adams!~~~)
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To: Salvation

Good King Wenceslaus ping!

6 posted on 12/26/2005 1:34:42 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be exorcised.)
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To: TR Jeffersonian


7 posted on 12/26/2005 1:57:23 PM PST by kalee
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To: sionnsar
Good Prince Vaclav [for St. Stephen's Day, 12/26]

A few considerations on St. Stephen's martyrdom

St. Stephen, the Martyr

Dec. 26 - Saint Stephen, First Martyr

A thoughtful sermon for St. Stephen's Day

8 posted on 12/26/2005 2:44:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sionnsar
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

December 26, 2006
St. Stephen
(d. 36 A.D.?)

All we know of Stephen is found in Acts of the Apostles, chapters six and seven. It is enough to tell us what kind of man he was:

At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.... (Acts 6:1-5)

Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders among the people. Certain Jews, members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen, debated with Stephen but proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke. They persuaded others to make the charge of blasphemy against him. He was seized and carried before the Sanhedrin.

In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).

His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God....’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him....As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit....Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).


Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God, and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.

9 posted on 12/26/2006 7:22:44 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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