Ludmila

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The holy and glorious martyr Ludmila (Circa 860 - September 15, 921) of Bohemia was born in Mělník, the daughter of a Slavic prince. Saint Ludmila was the grandmother of St. Wenceslas.

Ludmila was married to Bořivoj I of Bohemia, who was the first Christian Duke of Bohemia. The couple were converted to Christianity around 873. Their efforts to convert Bohemia to Christianity were initially not well received, and they were driven from their country for a time by the pagans. Eventually the couple returned, and ruled for several years before retiring to Tetín, near Beroun.

The couple was succeeded by their son Spytihněv, who ruled for two years before he died. Spitihněv was succeeded by his brother Vratislav. When Vratislav died in 916, his eight year old son Wenceslas became the next ruler of Bohemia. It was mainly Ludmila who raised her grandson.

Wenceslaus' mother Drahomíra became jealous of Ludmila's influence over Wenceslaus. She had two noblemen murder Ludmila at Tetín, and part of Ludmila's story says that she was strangled with her veil. Initially St. Ludmila was buried at St. Michael's at Tetín. Sometime before the year 1100 her relics were removed to the Church of St. George at Prague, Czech Republic.

St. Ludmila is venerated as a patroness of Bohemia. Her feast day is celebrated on September 16. She is considered to be a patron saint of Bohemia, converts, Czech Republic, duchesses, problems with in-laws, and widows. She was canonized shortly after her death.

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