It’s October, which means it’s the month of Halloween. Even though we’re a Christmas company, we love spooky things too, so all month we’ll be bringing you a new series we call TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS.
Have you heard the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslaus’ before? Well he was a real person, so sit back and listen to the tragic and bloody story of Wenceslaus the First, duke of Bohemia.
Wenceslaus was born in the year 911, the eldest son of the rulers of Bohemia. His father and paternal grandparents were early adopters to Christianity, but his mother was pagan. Wenceslaus was incredibly close to his grandmother, and she oversaw his education, in particular his belief in the Christian faith.
When Wenceslaus was 13, his father died, and his grandmother assumed the role of regent until he could come of age. Jealous of his grandmother, Wenceslaus’s mother saw her opportunity, and had his grandmother murdered. As she knelt before her altar in prayer, an assassin snuck up behind her and strangled her with her own veil.
Wenceslaus’s mother assumed the role of regent, and began persecuting Christians. When Wenceslaus was 18, the remaining Christian nobles overthrew his mother and placed him on the throne.
Now, Wenceslaus had a younger brother, Boleslav, who was very close with their mother. In order to keep peace, Wenceslaus divided the country between them. And for four years, all was well.
Then, on the 28th of September in 935, Boleslav invited his brother to a feast day celebration. When he arrived, three of Boleslav’s friends attacked him, stabbing him repeatedly, and then Boleslav, Wenceslaus’s own brother, ran him through with a lance.
Maybe you’ll sing the Christmas carol a little differently this year?