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Saint Adalbert of Prague

Today April 23 we celebrate the feast day of Poland's primary Patron Saint-Adalbert (pol. Sw. Wojciech).

Adalbert Bishop of Prague was a Christian evangelizer of Bohemian descent. Born in 956 AD, Adalbert was related to Princess Dabrowka-wife of Polish Piast dynasty founder Prince Mieszko I. He served as confessor and advisor to German Emperor Otto III and baptizer of Hungarian King Stephen. After his family was murdered, Polish Prince-future king Boleslaw Chrobry gave him refuge in Poland as a missionary. Adalbert was martyred trying to bring the Gospel to Prussians near today's Polish town of Paslek in Northern Poland. Prince Chrobry purchased his remains from the pagans and laid them at Gniezno Cathedral. Pope Silvester canonized Adalbert in 999. He became the proto unifier of Europe when Otto III and Prince Chrobry and Papal emissary met at his grave in 1000. This Gniezno Conference (pol. Zjazd Gnieznienski) initiated the first Polish Metropolitan See in Gniezno incorporating Bishop's sees of Krakow, Wroclaw and Kolobrzeg. Politically, Gniezno Conference acclaimed Poland as a loyal and trustworthy Christian State. Emperor Otto expressed this esteem by symbolically crowning Prince Chrobry with his own diadem. After Otto, Poland's friend and ally died, his successor Henry blocked the coronation until he died in 1024. Boleslaw Chrobry, a bold and valiant military leader was crowned Polish King in April 1025. St. Adalbert's influence on Chrobry intensified his fervent evangelization of Poland-est. Poland's first Benedictine Abbey at Holy Cross Mt. (pol. Sw. Krzyz). Right here in Chicago we have an architectural masterpiece - St. Adalbert's Church (b.1914) - and many Polonia assn's across America chose St. Adalbert as their patron.

B. Czerkawski

Photos show PMA Library Lives of Saints: St. Adalbert, Polish Kings Annal depiction-St. Adalbert's patron King Chrobry, PMA Exhibit Gniezno Doors replica depicting St. Adalbert's martyrdom (conservation by Polonica 2021).

# swwojciech #drzwignieznienskie #gniezno #polonica #onthisday

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