Saint Wojciech of Poland
The Main Patron of Poland
Feastday: April 23
Also known as: Adalbert of Prague
Saint Wojciech was a Bishop of Praga, (Czech) and He often met German Emperor Otto III, who was crowned in 996 (being 16-years old). Emperor the spite the fact that he was young, he had clear vision not only of his country, but also of the whole Europe. He saw the future of the continent in unification under the Christ sceptre. Bishop Wojciech liked this idea very much, as he was thinking in the similar way. Emperor Otto III and Bishop Wojciech spent a lot of time talking together and they became good friends.
Emperor Otto III went as a pilgrim, to Gargano (Italy) to the Saint Michael Sanctuary, in 999, during the Lent. In 1000 Emperor Otto III came to Gniezno (Poland) to the grave of his friend Saint Wojciech. Emperor Otto III told his workers to prepare an altar made of pure gold and then the altar was sent to Gniezno, before Emperor Otto III came here. Otto III came to Gniezno (Poland) in 1000, during the Lent. To express a great respect for Saint Wojciech, he went barefoot to his grave.
Polish Prince Bolesław Chrobry wanted to greet Otto III with big respect and put knight’s detachments on the large plain. Knight were wore in the most expensive garments and armours. During that meeting Emperor Otto III unexpectedly took of a diadem from his head and put it on the head of Bolesław Chrobry. Otto III said: “It is improper to call such big man as a knight or count, but it is proper to raise him to the king’s throne and to crown him”.
It was a symbolic coronation as true coronation could be done only by priest. The true coronation of Bolesław Chrobry took place in 1025. The Relics of Saint Wojciech are in the Cathedral Church in Gniezno (Poland). Saint Wojciech was canonized in 999. His feast is celebrated 23 April, and he is called the Apostle of Prussia.