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He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.

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Today is the feast of St. Adalbert of Prague, Bishop and Martyr. Adalbert was from a Bohemian noble family. As a child, he became so sick that his parents promised to offer him to God as a priest if only he would survive. When he recovered, he was sent to be educated by St. Adalbert of Magdeburg, the “Apostle of the Slavs.” At 25, two years after Adalbert of Magdeburg's death, he was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Prague. The bishop who ordained him fell ill and died during a severe bout of depression, believing he had neglected his duties as bishop. This led Adalbert to deepen his spiritual practices. Adalbert was chosen as the new Bishop of Prague and soon discovered why the previous bishop had struggled. Though he was generous and often visited the poor, many people of his diocese hated him for his reform efforts. A few years after his episcopal ordination, a woman accused of adultery took shelter in a church, which should have protected her for a while, but a mob violated the right of sanctuary, dragging her out of the church and killing her. Adalbert excommunicated them but the people of Prague sided with the mob, leading Adalbert to go to Rome to get permission to retire. After five years in a monastery in Rome, Adalbert returned to Prague at the request of the Archbishop of Mentz. At first, the people promised to repent, but it didn't last long and Adalbert left again, this time as a missionary to Hungary, where he taught, among others, King St. Stephen. The pope ordered Adalbert to go back to Prague, but this time he faced open hostility from the nobility and death threats against his family. Since it was too dangerous to go back, Adalbert went as a missionary to Poland and Germany. He had much more success with them at first, but soon encountered opposition again for denouncing pagan practices. A pagan priest and several others captured and martyred him in the year 997. With his death, finally, the Church in the places he served began to grow. St. Adalbert, pray for us!
Today is the feast of St. George, Martyr. According to The Golden Legend, a medieval collection of hagiographies, St. George—described as a knight—came upon a Libyan kingdom that was about to sacrifice their princess to appease a dragon. He rescued the princess and, after the king and his subjects promised to be baptized, George slayed the dragon. This is the story St. George is known for, but there's one problem: it was written several centuries after his death. George was actually a Cappadocian Christian, raised in Israel and Palestine, who was a soldier in the Roman army—perhaps an officer, but not a knight. In 303, when Emperor Diocletian issued his edict ordering the start of what is now called the Great Persecution, George opposed the persecution and refused to give up his faith, and as a result was martyred. Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, written within a few decades of St. George's death, says George actually tore up a written copy of the edict, leading to his martyrdom. St. George is extremely popular today, a patron saint of many places, including England, Venice, Genoa, Portugal, Ethiopia, and Catalonia. While he may not have been a knight who slayed a dragon, he was a soldier who gave his life to defend the Church in one of its worst periods of persecution. St. George, pray for us!
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