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SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE

St. John Nepomucene (1340-1393)
Feast Day:  May 16
Patron Saint of:  Bohemia

St. John Nepomucene of Prague is considered a martyr of the seal of the confessional, the secrecy demanded of the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

When the immoral King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia suspected his wife of having an affair, he demanded that her confessor, St. John, tell him what she confessed.  John refused to say anything.  The king waited for revenge, which came later in a dispute over Church law.  He ordered that John be tortured, chained, led through Prague with a block of wood in his mouth, and his body thrown into the Moldau River.

When St. John Nepomucene’s tomb in Prague’s cathedral was opened in 1719, his tongue was found to be withered but otherwise remarkably incorrupt.


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