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Solemn Mass to Commemorate the Statehood Day and National Day of the Czech Republic

Embassy of the Czech Republic in partnership with the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Ljubljana organized a solemn mass on September 28, 2021 at the Ljubljana cathedral to commemorate the Czech Statehood Day of St. Wenceslas and the National Day of the Czech Republic. The mass was celebrated by the Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich, Apostolic Nuncio.

The Embassy commemorated the personality of St. Wenceslas (907-935), the Patron Saint of the Czech lands together with the forthcoming National Day of the Czech Republic on October, 28. Ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps as well as Czech police officers currently serving on the Slovenian Schengen border, were among guests.

Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich, Apostolic Nuncio celebrated the ceremonial. In opening remarks, the Ambassador Juraj Chmiel informed about another prominent religious celebrations in the Czech Republic, 1100th anniversary of St. Ludmila (860-921), the first Slavonic saint and grandmother of St. Wenceslas. Also, he mentioned the reason of this year’s joint celebrations of the Czech Statehood and National Days. The traditional National Day celebration with the Czech Army Guard of Honour, as well as the Garrison Orchestra had to be cancelled due to the current epidemiological rules.

The mass was accented by the presence of the Cathedral Choir that performed the Biblical Song No. 4. Oh, my Shepherd is the Lord by Antonín Dvořák in the Czech original to open the mass. As a farewell prayer, the church hymn, a prayer for the homeland and one of the oldest known Czech songs Saint Wenceslas Chorale was performed in Czech, too.

Wenceslas, duke of the Přemyslid dynasty (907-935), was cannonized as the first Czech in 938, 3 years after his violent death. One of the most celebrated Czech saints: the patron saint and martyr, was a key personality that played an important role in the emancipation of the Czech state. 

He became a subject of many legends, including the internationally renowned English Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas. A story about Bohemian king going on a journey, braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen, is based on his life.

The National Day relates to 1918 when the independent Czechoslovakia was founded on liberal democratic principles, after the end of WWI. Since then, October 28 is the National Day of the Czech Republic. In 2020, the Slovak Parliament decided that this day would become the national holiday of Slovakia.


Mass 2021 in Ljubljana Cathedral