Czechs Dedicate Year to Saint Who Felled Communism

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, MARCH 1, 2011 ( St. Agnes of Bohemia was canonized just five days before the start of the Velvet Revolution, which brought about the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia.

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Pope John Paul II canonized her Sunday, Nov. 12, 1989. It was that Friday that riot police suppressed a student demonstration in Prague, which led to a series of more demonstrations. On Nov. 28, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced that it was relinquishing power. Agnes of Bohemia is thus heralded in the country as the saint who assisted in bringing down the Communist Regime.

Archbishop Dominik Duka of Prague will open a jubilee year of St. Agnes on Wednesday, commemorating the 800th anniversary of her birth.

Agnes (1211-1282) was the daughter of Czech King Přemysl Otakar I and Constancia of Hungary. The “princess-nun” is revered in the Czech Republic not only for her historical importance (both in life and in death), but also as a model for behavior today.

The year to be opened by Archbishop Duka will include events such as academic conferences, concerts and competitions.

The year of St. Agnes of Bohemia will be closed with a unique exhibition titled “St. Agnes of Bohemia: Princess and Nun,” which will be opened on the premises of the monastery of St. Agnes in Prague on Nov. 25, 2011.

[With information from Lucia Koutová]
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