Message for the Feast of Saint Ludmila
Queen of the Czech Republic
16 (29) September 2021
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today we celebrate St. Ludmila, wife of Duke of the Czech Republic Vorivoj, who was baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith by St. Methodius the Apostle and died young, at the age of only 36. His holy wife was left a widow, with four children. She took up the cross of her ordeal with fortitude and even showed great zeal for the spread of Orthodoxy and led many pagans to the Light of Truth. But her bride hated her, because she apparently could not bear to see her exemplary Christian life. The true Christian is a breath of life to the well-intentioned, and at the same time he controls the wicked by the example of his life and the truth of his walk. This is why God’s servant Ludmilla was martyred in the year 927 at the age of 60. She met an inglorious end, in the world, at the hands of a relative, but our Lord received her into His kingdom where peace and righteousness reign.
Her grandson Vaclav (Wenceslaus), the eminent Orthodox philanthropic King of Bohemia, placed the relic of St. Ludmila in the Church of St. George in Prague Castle, where it remains to this day as a source of blessing, healing and sanctification.
However, as is well known, even St. King Wenceslas was murdered by his brother in the flesh, Voleslav, and became the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic (celebrated on September 28).
Saints Ludmilla and Vastlav imitated our Lord Jesus Christ. They lived a life of charity, but tasted ingratitude as well as death at the hands of relatives in their environment. They were Leaders who sacrificed for Faith, for Truth, for Justice and for their People. They did not sacrifice others, but sacrificed themselves for others. As did the new Holy Martyr Bishop Gorazd, in the mid-twentieth century, who chose to sacrifice himself for his Flock, for their countrymen, so that others would not be harmed by the Nazi enemies of humanity.
Our faith brings a “judgment” many times even in our own house. Sometimes it even brings “separation”. Believers are united with God, but are inevitably separated from those who do not want to be with God, or have a different view of God. Those who have simplicity and love Truth more than themselves and their own interests follow Christ in all the details of their lives, no matter how difficult that may seem. Whereas the one who remains in bondage to himself, his passions, and the devil, he is usually captivated by a spirit of deception and does not accept the Truth, but rather fights against it.
A daily struggle is required of all of us if we are to be with the true God at all times, to witness to His Truth, to do good even when we are not understood, even when we are accused, even when we are harmed by our own people, our “household”. We are to remain in the Love of Truth, to be uncompromising, forgiving and patient.
May we have patience in all things until the end of our lives, so that we may merit God’s mercy, with St. Ludmilla’s intercessions! Amen.
+Bishop Clement of Gardikion
Locum Tenens of the Holy Diocese of Moravia