Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry 2nd Day of Christmas! Good King Wenceslas

Have you ever wondered about the song Good King Wenceslas? Since today is the feast of St. Stephen, on which the story takes place, here’s the info:

   Good King Wenceslas was the king of Bohemia in the 10th century. Good King Wenceslas was a Catholic and was martyred following his assassination by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters, his Saint's Day is September 28th, and he is the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic. St. Stephen's feast day was celebrated on 26th December which is why this song is sung as a Christmas carol.

This is the best part:

The story is told of St. Wenceslas that merely visiting churches where the Blessed Sacrament was kept inflamed him with such ardor that his servant-companion never felt the cold while walking through the snow if he trod in the footsteps of the saint.
(St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ, Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1997, pg. 20.)

Keep that in mind the next time you sing it, and let other people know, too!

Lord Jesus, may we also experience this ardor for Your Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar!

St. Wenceslas, pray for us!



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 Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine

When we bear him 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, my good 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!