On this day in 997, the first Bohemian-born bishop of Prague, St. Adalbert, was martyred in Prussia. He is remembered for his zeal for souls and bravery in proclaiming the Gospel in pagan lands.
St. Adalbert helped convert Hungary to Christianity. He then traveled to Prussia, where pagans worshipped supposed tree spirits. St. Adalbert and the other Christian missionaries chopped down the trees to prove that no powerful and dangerous spirits resided therein.
When they did not the heed the pagans’ warnings to stop, the Christian missionaries, including St. Adalbert, were martyred on the Baltic Sea coast.
St. Adalbert is the patron saint of Bohemia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Prague.