Spirituality for Today – September 2015 – Volume 20, Issue 2

Saint of the Month
St. Ludmila

September 16

A painting of Saint Ludmila

The daughter of a Slav prince, Ludmila was given in marriage to Borivoy, the duke of Bohemia, when she was in her early teens. Soon after their marriage, Ludmila and the duke accept Christ into their lives and joined the Church in 874. The couple was very successful in gaining converts and founded the nation's first Christian church at Levy Hradec.

Despite their success, Ludmila was aware that anti–Christian sentiment was a constant threat to their efforts. When the duke died in 894, the threat became more pronounced. Ratislav, who succeeded his father, was devout in his faith, but his wife Drahomira resisted becoming a Christian. When the couple's first son, Wenceslas, was born, Ratislav persuaded Ludmila to raise him.

Ludmila loved caring for Wenceslas. Under her care, the young heir to the throne received a solid foundation in Christianity as well as schooling in Latin and Slavonic. But eventually the arrangement fueled resentment toward Ludmila and the Church.

In 916, the family was thrown into further turmoil when Ratislav was tragically killed in battle. Because Wenceslas was only 14, Drahomira assumed power and immediately removed her son from Ludmila's care, with the support of the anti-Christian party. Fearing that Christianity would be wiped out under Drahomira's rule, Ludmila urged Wenceslas to assert his right to the throne before he came of age. Wenceslas would eventually rule Bohemia but not before Ludmila was strangled to death by two anti–Christian noblemen. She is buried at St. George's Church in Prague.

I pray Dear Lord,
help me act in unselfish
and generous ways in all that I do.
I pray Dear Lord,
fill me with a kind and generous nature
to share my blessings.
I pray Dear Lord,
guide me so that I can reach out
to some of Your children
who have no loving adult to protect and nurture them.
I pray Dear Lord,
in Your precious name.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives