But there’s more data about this man. His grandmother had been murdered because she had taught Wenceslaus about Jesus. In those days - he was born between 905 and 907 A.D. - Bohemia was still a largely pagan territory.
Corresponding to the territory of what is now the Czech Republic, the heathen traditions of Bohemia included human sacrifice, torture, and a general low regard for the value of human life. Women were considered as property, and could be bought and sold.
Ludmilla, the grandmother of Wenceslaus, helped to spread the teachings of Jesus into the region, and paid with her life. He would do the same. When “Wenceslaus became king of Bohemia in 922,” writes historian Bert Ghezzi,
He instituted a Christian rule over a people who were only partially converted to Christianity. Thus, a cadre of powerful pagan nobles opposed him and ultimately conspired to have him murdered.
As a follower of Jesus, Wenceslaus worked to reduce the frequency with which defendants were sentenced to capital punishment. He also reduced the amount of time which convicts were spending in prisons, instituting instead a form of ‘restorative justice.’
His efforts to stop the practice of human sacrifice and to raise the status of women angered the heathen leaders. Sometime between 929 and 935 A.D., he was assassinated.