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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
What shall we say about St. Wenceslas, King of Bohemia? This holy king was not content to attend several Masses every day, kneeling on the church floor and serving the priest at the altar with angelic modesty and fervor. He also adorned the altars with the richest jewels of his crown and the most precious draperies of his palace. It was also his custom to prepare the hosts for the sacrifice with his own hands. The very grain which was to be used to make them was harvested by him; he could be seen, without fear of derogating from the royal dignity, ploughing the land, sowing the wheat, and harvesting it, after which he ground the grain and sifted the flour; then, from the finest flower, he kneaded the altar breads, which he humbly presented to the priests. Oh hands worthy to carry the scepter! But what advantage did he gain from such tender devotion? God allowed Emperor Otto I to show him unparalleled benevolence, of which he gave a striking proof by allowing him to attach to his coat of arms the coat of arms of the empire, a favor that was not granted to any other prince.
But if God took care to reward Wenceslas’ devotion to the holy sacrifice in this world, He gave him a far more magnificent reward in heaven, when, by a glorious martyrdom, he exchanged his perishable crown for an immortal diadem.