Ludmila of Bohemia
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|Saint and Martyr|
|Died||15 September 921
Tetín castle (cs), Tetín, Bohemia
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||shortly after her death|
|Major shrine||Chapel of St. Ludmila|
Saint Ludmila (c. 860 – 15 September 921) is a Czech saint and martyr venerated by the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics. She was born in Mělník as the daughter of the Sorbian prince Slavibor. Saint Ludmila was the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, who is widely referred to as Good King Wenceslaus.
Ludmila was married to Bořivoj I of Bohemia, who was the first Christian Duke of Bohemia. The couple was converted to Christianity around 871, probably through the efforts of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Their efforts to convert Bohemia to Christianity were initially not well received, and they were driven from their country for a time by the pagans. Eventually the couple returned, and ruled for several years before retiring to Tetín, near Beroun.
The couple was succeeded by their son Spytihněv. Spytihněv was succeeded by his brother Vratislav. When Vratislav died in 921, his son Wenceslas became the next ruler of Bohemia. It had been mainly Ludmila who raised her grandson and she now acted as regent for him.
Ludmila and Drahomíra
Wenceslaus' mother Drahomíra became jealous of Ludmila's influence over Wenceslaus. She had two noblemen murder Ludmila at Tetín, and part of Ludmila's story says that she was strangled with her veil. Initially, Saint Ludmila was buried at St. Michael's at Tetín. Sometime before the year 1100, her remains were removed to the St. George's Basilica, Prague.
Saint Ludmila is venerated as a patroness of Bohemia. Her feast day is celebrated on 16 September. She is considered to be a patron saint of Bohemia, converts, Czech Republic, duchesses, problems with in-laws, and widows. She was canonized shortly after her death.
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- Pekar, J., Die Wenzels- und Ludmilla-Legenden und die Echtheit Christians (Prag, 1906).
- Christianus Monachus, "Vita et Passio sancti Venceslai et sanctae Ludmilae avae eius," in Magnae Moraviae Fontes Historici (Brno, 1967), 186-199.
- Ingham, N. W., "The Lost Church Slavonic Life of Saint Ludmila," in Studia Slavica Mediaevalia et Himanistica. Riccardo Piccio dicata. T. 1-2 (Roma, 1986), 349-360.
|Duchess consort of Bohemia