Faithful prince Viacheslav
Oct. 12 (Sept. 28 old calendar).
Faithful Viacheslav (also called Vincheslav, or Vatzlav), the prince Checkia, was a grandson of saint princess Ludmila (see above), who brought him up in Christian faith. Having received excellent teaching from Presbyter Paul - a disciple of Prelate Methodius, Saint Viacheslav had a command of Slavic, Latin and Greek languages and was a comprehensively educated man. His father, prince Rostislav, (Bratislav), died in 920 in a battle against Ugrians and Viacheslav, who was 18 at the time, became the prince.
He was a wise a just ruler caring about Christian enlightenment of his people. Buying out pagan children from slave owners, he placed them with those who would bring them up in the spirit of Christianity. Prince Viacheslav was peaceful, revered clergymen and beautified the churches. He did a lot for strengthening Christianity among the Check people. He transferred the relics of Saint Vit to the capital of Checkia - Prague, built a magnificent cathedral named in his honor and preserved his relics there.
The German clergy, who were earlier persecuting Prelate Methodius, also created obstruction to Saint Viacheslav and instigated envious grandees against him. The latter plotted against Viacheslav, having persuaded his younger brother Boleslav to replace him on the throne. In order to get rid of Viacheslav, Boleslav invited him to attend the ceremony of blessing a church. Viacheslav refused to believe his servants, who had tried to warn him about the conspiracy. He went to church for the matins and was killed by his brother and his accomplices on the threshold of the church. This happened in 935. The mangled body of Saint Viacheslav remained lying unburied for several days and that caused people's wrath and unrest. When Viacheslav's mother learned about her son's death she buried him in the royal church. The blood which was shed on the church-porch could not be washed away for a long time. Once a prince Boleslav tried to eradicate Christianity in Checkia and to make it catholic. He insisted on serving liturgy only in Latin. Under the pressure of the people, who regarded Viacheslav as a martyr, Boleslav apparently repented his fratricide and transferred Viacheslav's relics to Prague and buried them in the church of Saint Vit. Martyr Viacheslav together with princess Ludmila are considered to be Checkia's protectors.
Troparion, Tone 4
O trophy-bearer Prince Vatslav,/ by thy strategy thou wast a general of the heavenly King;/ armed with the weapons of faith/ thou didst annihilate hordes of demons and win the Athletes' contest./ With faith we call thee blessed.
Kontakion, Tone 2
With the Word of God as a spear in thy hand,/ armed with faith and courage of soul,/ thou didst vanquish the enemy, Vatslav prince of martyrs./ With them pray to Christ our God for us all.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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