St. Wenceslaus Images – St. Wenceslaus Church, Milligan, NE

The church contains two images of its patron, St. Wenceslaus who can be read about here: https://churchwonders.com/mary-saints/saints/saint-wenceslaus/

On prominent display at front right side of the nave is a statue of a young St. Wenceslaus donated in 1943 by Fr. John Kozlik. In this image, he is dressed in battle clothing wearing a helmeted-crown with a shield in his right hand and flag in his left. This appears to be a depiction of the saint’s one-to-one meeting with Count Radislas who had roused the people to rebel against him after he had taken the throne from his departed father Wrastislaw (Vratislas I). The story goes that Count Radislas challenged Wenceslaus to a battle of armies, but in trying to avert greater losses of lives in battle, Wenceslaus proposed a head-to-head combat with the Count. The Count arrived in full battle gear while Wenceslaus was only armed with a sword. However, Wenceslaus was also accompanied by two angels and as Wenceslaus made the sign of the cross before the battle, the Count threw down his arms when the angels cried “Stand off!” The Count then fell at Wenceslaus’ feet begging forgiveness and pledging future allegiance.

St. Wenceslaus is also shown in a large oil painting on the wall at the back of the seating area. The image shows the benevolent Saint as King with two young children at his feet, along with a father pointing upward to the saint. This painting illustrates the generosity and charity of the great leader for which he was known during his reign. He is particularly known for his charity to the poor, prisoners, widows and orphans. This painting was acquired in 1899 along with the statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph on the side altars in the sanctuary.

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