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Good King Wenceslas

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’1


Wenceslas was born in Czechoslovakia in the early 900s.  His father, the Czech ruler, gave him a good education supervised by his godly grandmother. When his father died, Wenceslas, seeing his mother mishandle affairs of state, stepped in, at age 18, to seize the reins of government. From the beginning, he proved to be a different sort of King. He sought good relations with surrounding nations and encouraged the building of churches. Most peculiar of this new king was his heartfelt concern for the poor.


The people of the Czech Republic had fallen on hard times. One night as he was looking out his window, he watched as a poor man collected wood. The king asked his servant to find out where the poor man lived and to help him take meat, drink, and firewood to his home. As the king and his servant ventured out on a very cold night, the servant struggled to walk in the snow. The king told his servant to follow and step in his footprints so as to make his walk along the icy ground a little easier. Miraculously, each time the servant placed his foot where the king's foot had been, the servant's feet were warmed. And so, they delivered the food and helped the family. The news of the king's generosity spread through the countryside, encouraging others to be as generous as their king. The last stanza of this beloved Christmas carol says:


“In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;

Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,

You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.”2


At Christmas, and all through the year, we have opportunities to bless others. Rich and poor alike can be blessed by a giving spirit. In this season of giving, let us remember the acts of kindness shared by the Good King Wenceslas and follow in his Christ-like footsteps!



Suggested Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that this Christmas you will use me to be your hands and feet to bless those around me. I pray that you open my eyes to the need around me and be blessed by blessing others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Matthew 25:40 (ESV).

  2. “Good King Wenceslas”, 1854, John M. Neale, Swedish Carol.



Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.