April 23 brings a special double celebration, Easter Tuesday and the re-living of Jesus’ Resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel and the feast of St. Adalbert.
Even though this great saint lived over a 1000 years ago, beginning his work in Czechoslovakia, his example provides many lessons for us to follow today. First, he changed his name from Vojtech to Adalbert after his Baptism, taking on the name of the most significant catechist in his life. What a special tribute to the work of catechists whose work often goes unrecognized and “unthanked” in the development of faith.
Next, St. Adalbert strove to bring the teachings and virtues of the church out to the modern world. Unfortunately, his efforts were met with a lack of understanding and acceptance by the people. Horror struck, as Adalbert’s family was massacred by order of Prince Boleslav II, the same man whom Adalbert supported. Thankfully, one man (the duke of Poland) did recognize the great work of Adalbert and appointed him to evangelize those in Poland. Following in the footsteps of so many courageous warriors of the faith, Adalbert was martyred.
As we think of St. Adalbert on his feast day, we thank him for his example of strength, courage, perseverance, and great faith. Modern society has evolved drastically since his time, but the major problems remain the same. We are grateful for him as a leader and for his work as both disciple and apostle.
St. Adalbert … pray for us!