Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Written by Adela Munkova

Category: Notables

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Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes of Bohemia was born at the beginning of the 13th century and was the youngest daughter of the well-known Czech king Premysl Otakar I of the Premyslovci dynasty.

She was perceived as the icon of dedication, kindness, and purity. She helped the poor and the ill and built the hospital in the Prague Old Town, and she established the Military Order of the Crusaders of the Red Star. That is the only knight’s order that was established by a woman and it has two main pillars: faith and charity. These two were the most important aspects of Agnes’s own life as well.

She was never married. She joined the church and she dedicated her whole life to helping people. She also became the abbess of the church “Na Frantisku”. But when she was older she gave up that position and was just a normal nun. She always wanted to help and never for fame or gratitude. She was considered the embodiment of humility.

However, not many people know that she was very welleducated and smart. She spoke four languages: Czech, Latin, German and Italian. And she also had good diplomatic skills.

There is also a magical part of her life story. There was a legend in the Czech lands that said something like,  “The Czech countries will become free when Agnes of Bohemia will be pronounced a saint”. This happened centuries after her death. In the summer of 1968 the Soviet Union occupied Czechoslovakia for more than 20 years. Agnes of Bohemia was canonized the 12th. of November, 1989. Many people from Czechoslovakia wanted to travel to the Vatican to see it themselves but it was prohibited. A week after her canonization, there the Velvet Revolution destroyed the communist government that caused the fall of the Communist party and, we can say, made the Czech countries free.

Truth be told, Agnes of Bohemia is one of the most special icons in our history. She sacrificed herself to help the people, the less fortunate, the poor, the ill. And she became an icon for her mercy and solidarity. Because of this she also became some kind of a symbol of liberty during communism.

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