Also known as St. John of Nepomuk; Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr; died in 1393
Below: A Map of Europe in 1300; note the location of Bohemia, approximately the present-day Czech Republic
King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia (also Holy Roman Emperor from 1378 to 1400) was engaged in a power struggle with the nobles of his realm. His image is below:
He became interested in an appointment to fill the vacant post of abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Kladruby, for the resources at the abbot’s disposal could help the King. Wenceslaus IV supported Clement VII, the Papal claimant resident at Avignon. Clement VII’s image is below:
Yet the Archbishop of Prague favored Boniface IX, the Papal claimant resident at Rome. Boniface IX’s image is below:
John Neopmucene, the Archbishop’s Vicar-General, confirmed the Archbishop’s choice for abbot. The angry Wenceslaus IV ordered the Vicar-General tortured then drowned in the Moldau River.
The nobles rebelled after this murder.
Just in case you wondered…
Wenceslaus IV was an inconstant man. First he tried to protect Jan Hus and the Hussites from the Roman Catholic Church. Yet Hus met his fate as a martyr in 1415. Wenceslaus IV had sought also to stem the progress of the Hussites after 1415, for his very Catholic brother, Sigismund, influenced him. After Wenceslaus died in 1419, the Hussite Wars (1419-1434) resulted in the defeat of the Hussites.
Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth. Inspire us with the memory of St. John Nepomucene, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.