« Adalbert I St. Adalbert St. Adalbert »

St. Adalbert

St. Adalbert

Apostle of the Slavs, probably a native of Lorraine, d. 981. He was a German monk who was consecrated bishop and sent to establish Christianity in Russia in 961. His mission was the result of a request of the princess Olga who, having appealed in vain to the court of Constantinople for someone to evangelize her people, besought the German Emperor Otho, who sent Adalbert and a number of priests to begin the work. Russia was then in a state of barbarism, and the missionaries were attacked on the way, some of the priests being killed. Adalbert barely escaping with his life. Returning to Germany, he was made Abbot of Weissenburg in Alsace, and in the following year became Bishop of the new see of Magdeburg, which was erected for the purpose of dealing especially with the Slavs. Magdeburg became one of the great bishoprics of the country, the chief one in the North, and ranking with Cologne, Mainz, and Trier. Adalbert was made Metropolitan of the Slavs, and established among them the sees of Naumburg, Meissen, Merseburg, Brandenburg, Havelberg, and Posen. The Pope appointed two legates to assist him in his apostolate. He governed his church until his death in 981.

T.J. CAMPBELL

« Adalbert I St. Adalbert St. Adalbert »
« St. Adalbert St. Adalbert Ad Apostolicae Dignitatis Apicem »

St. Adalbert

St. Adalbert

Born 939 of a noble Bohemian family; died 997. He assumed the name of the Archbishop Adalbert (his name had been Wojtech), under whom he studied at Magdeburg. He became Bishop of Prague, whence he was obliged to flee on account of the enmity he had aroused by his efforts to reform the clergy of his diocese. He betook himself to Rome, and when released by Pope John XV from his episcopal obligations, withdrew to a monastery and occupied himself in the most humble duties of the house. Recalled by his people, who received him with great demonstrations of joy, he was nevertheless expelled a second time and returned to Rome. The people of Hungary were just then turning towards Christianity. Adalbert went among them as a missionary, and probably baptized King Geysa and his family, and King Stephen. He afterwards evangelized the Poles, and was made Archbishop of Gnesen. But he again relinquished his see, and set out to preach to the idolatrous inhabitants of what is now the Kingdom of Prussia. Success attended his efforts at first, but his imperious manner in commanding them to abandon paganism irritated them, and at the instigation of one of the pagan priests he was killed. This was in the year 997. His feast is celebrated 23 April, and he is called the Apostle of Prussia. Boleslas I, Prince of Poland, is said to have ransomed his body for an equivalent weight of gold. He is thought to be the author of the war-song, "Boga-Rodzica", which the Poles used to sing when going to battle.

T.J. CAMPBELL

« St. Adalbert St. Adalbert Ad Apostolicae Dignitatis Apicem »
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