Ordinary Time: September 28th
Optional Memorial of St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs
Old Calendar: St. Wenceslaus, martyr; Bl. John of Dukla (Hist) ; Other Titles: Vaclav; Wenzel; Vaceslav; Wenceslaus of Bohemia; Lorenzo Ruiz; Laurence Ruiz;
St. Wenceslaus was Duke of Bohemia, who after many trials in governing and evangelizing his people, suffered martyrdom at the hands of his brother.In the 17th century (1633-1637) St. Lawrence Ruiz and his companions shed their blood for Christ in Nagasaki, Japan. These martyrs were members of the Order of St. Dominic. They were nine priests, two religious, two sisters, and three laymen. Among the latter was Lawrence Ruiz, a family man from the Philippines. They abundantly sowed the missionary seed of Christianity with the example of their life and death.Historically today is the feast of St. John of Dukla who was born in Dukla, Poland in 1414. He joined the Friars Minor Conventual, a religious order who strictly adhered to their rule of poverty and obedience. Though he went blind later in age he was able to prepare sermons with the help of an aide. His preaching was credited in bringing people back to the Church in his province. Soon after his death, there was an immediate at his tomb and several miracles were attributed to him. On June 10, 1997, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II in a mass at Krosno, Poland before approximately one million people.
St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was born about the year 907 at Prague, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). His father was killed in battle when he was young, leaving the kingdom to be ruled by his pagan mother. Wenceslaus was educated by his grandmother, Ludmilla, also a saint. She taught him to be a Christian and to be a good king. She was killed by pagan nobles before she saw him king, but she left him with a deep committment to the Christian faith.
- Learn more about Prague and the Czech Republic and St. Vitus Cathedral, supposedly started by St. Wenceslas in the 10th century as a small chapel to house relics of St. Vitus and where in the 14th century St. John Nepomucene was buried after being executed for refusing to violate the seal of the confessional.
- Teach your children the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas and discuss his life and virtue. If you can find a copy, a wonderful book with music and illustrations is called Good King Wenceslas: A Legend in Music and Pictures by Mary Reed Newland, published by Seabury Press, 1980.
- Read about the Infant Jesus of Prague and pray the chaplet.
- Bake a loaf of bread for dinner and serve wine in honor of St. Wenceslas.
St. Lawrence Ruiz
Lawrence Ruiz is the first Filipino to be canonized a saint. He and 15 others were martyred at Nagasaki, Japan in 1637. The group included two consecrated women, two other laymen, two brothers and nine priests.
- Find out more about the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.
- Read more about the Church in Japan.
- Read more about the history of the Philippines.
Bl. John of Dukla
St. John of Dukla was a Franciscan missionary who was born in Dukla, Galicia, Poland, around 1414 and grew up a deeply religious person. He began his religious life as a hermit but then entered the Conventual Franciscans and was ordained. From 1440-1463 he labored as a preacher, and he was elected superior of the monastery because of his holiness and sound judgment. After serving his term in the monastery, John traveled as a missionary to the area of Lvov, in the Ukraine. There a group of Observant Franciscans, called the Bernardines, were conducting their ministries. John was attracted by the Bernardine spirit and transferred to that branch of the order. He was stricken with blindness in the last years of his life, but he did not retire from his pastoral duties. John preached and found his way to the confessional by groping along the pews. He died in Lvov, on September 29, 1484, a beloved priest. He was beatified in 1733 by Pope Clement XII. Pope John Paul II canonized John in Krosno, Poland, on June 10, 1997.
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