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Adalbert of Prague

956-997. Missionary and martyr. Born in Bohemia, he was educated in Germany by Adalbert of Magdeburg, taking his name at confirmation. His native name was Woytiech. He became the second bishop of Prague about 982, but incurred much opposition through his attempts at moral reformation. In 990, under political pressure, he went to Rome and became a Benedictine. Twice he returned to Prague, but finally left in 996 when nobles seized a prisoner in the cathedral and thus violated the law of sanctuary. He shared in the conversion of Hungary and is reputed to have baptized its great king, Stephen. At the request of Duke Boleslaus of Poland, he led missions to Pomerania and Danzig and possibly Russia. He was martyred by pagans along the Nogat River. He was buried at Gnesen in Poland and his shrine attracted many pilgrims, but after an expedition by Duke Bratislav of Bohemia in 1039 his bones were solemnly transferred to Prague.

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