Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. ~NPR
When people are ordered to show tolerance and kindness it breeds nothing but hypocrisy. True kindness almost never springs from force, but must be born within to be genuine. Authentic kindness grows out of love, love for God, love for others, and also love of self. The self-loathing being fobbed off as ‘wokeness’ in our culture today will not bring about love or kindness, but only perpetuate darkness and unrest.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9
Saint Stephen’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint’s day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in the Latin Church and 27 December in Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox Churches that adhere to the Julian calendar mark Saint Stephen’s Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, Saint Stephen’s Day marks the second day of Christmastide. ~Wikipedia
GOOD KING WENCESLAS by John Mason Neale 1853
Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.
“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.
“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, while God’s gifts possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.