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Thousands of Czechs attending Saint Wenceslas Pilgrimage

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Stara Boleslav, Central Bohemia, Sept 28 (CTK) – About 5,500 people yesterday took part in the National Saint Wenceslas Pilgrimage where Duke Wenceslas, patron saint of the Czech Lands, was murdered 1080 years ago.
The crowds of pilgrims evoked the heritage of Duke Wenceslas during the traditional pilgrimage mass.
A mass was also served in the Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague, that was absolutely full.
Speaking about the current refugee crisis, Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka said people should seek peace with a reasonable approach and empathy.
In this way, it is possible to help the refugees and, at the same time, to save what this civilisation was building for 50 generations in the cooperation of Czech, German and Hebrew-speaking people, he added.
“I can see as the substance of all the problems of present-day Europe that we have neglected and let rock the Christian foundations of our continent,” Duka said.
Duka stressed that Pope Francis had called for the end of aggression and sent a secretary of state to ask the United Nations for international help in the place of the conflict by all available means, including a military intervention approved by the United Nations Security Council.
This should eliminate the causes that are forcing people out of their homes, Duka said.
“The charity help in refugee camps in the Middle East and North Africa is not sufficient. It is necessary to renew the administrative, economic and social services,” Duka said.
“Of course, it is necessary to accept and treat the helpless refugees, but also to prepare them for a swift return to their countries so that they build and cultivate them and so that they could live in their homes in their accustomed ways,” Duka said.
The young refugees should be asked to defend their homes, Duka said.
“They may follow the example of our young men, fathers and grandfathers, who were leaving the Nazi-occupied countries in order to join foreign armies and to liberate their homeland,” he added.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) and Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL).
This year, a record high number of participants in the Saint Wenceslas Pilgrimage was recorded, Mayor of Brandys nad Labem – Stara Boleslav Vlastimil Picek has told CTK.
The police have confirmed that about 5,500 people came there.
The pilgrimage is held annually in the town where Wenceslas, a prince from the ruling Premyslid dynasty, was murdered by his own brother Boleslav on September 28, 935.
The day is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
The Roman Catholic Church renewed the tradition of the St Wenceslas national pilgrimage in 2003.
Pope Benedict XVI visited the event during his Czech stay in 2009.

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