Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Wenceslas, the Good King.

History tells us of his charity and fervor…heart blazing with the love of Christ, so much so that the fire of his love was felt by the young page who trod in his footsteps.  Murdered by his brother, his final words were:

May God forgive you, brother…

We remember him most often at Christmas, as we all sing “Good King Wenceslas.” The Feast of Stephen falls shortly after Christmas and thus the song has become a carol…though it is certainly more than appropriate to sing it on his feast day!

This was the very first song that young Gareth learned to play on the piano…I’m quite sure he’ll be delighted to play for us, though I’m not quite sure just how willingly his brothers will sing!

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 thou know’st 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 flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude 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 thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy 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
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Family in Feast and Feria has a lovely coloring page and story about the Good King…