Beatification candidates IV: Dioceses of Plzen and Litomerice

25. 09. 2008
In the fourth part of our series about candidates of beatification and canonization, we present three people from the western and northern part of the Czech Republic. These are regions where martyrs Blessed Hroznata, Cardinal Stepan Trochta and Father Ladislav Kubicek spent their lives.

Plzen, Litomerice: First of them is the patron-saint of the Diocese of Plzen, Blessed Hroznata. Born after 1160 in a family of a high-ranking nobleman, after his father's death he became a guard of the Czech borders with Germany in the western part of the country, around his castle in Tepla. After his wife and the only son died, Hroznata decided to take part in a crusade and traveled to Italy. There, however, he changed his mind and instead of participation in the crusade he was commanded by the Pope to found a monastery. He did so in Tepla and invited Premonstrates from Prague to live there. Several years later he entered the order but went on in patrolling borders as well. In 1217 Hroznata was captured by German robbers and as he refused to be ransomed with monastery money, he died on Jul 14. Soon after his burial he was venerated by local people, but the beatification was proclaimed as late as in 1897. Canonization process was opened by Bishop Frantisek Radkovsky of Plzen on Sep 11, 2004.

 

The Diocese of Litomerice and Salesians gather all necessary documents to start the beatification process of Cardinal Stepan Trochta, SDB, bishop of Litomerice in 1947-1974. He was born in Moravian Wallachia, eastern part of the republic, in 1905 and at the age of 18 he left for Perosa, Italy, to join Salesians. Together with Father Ignac Stuchly he founded the first Salesian community in Czechoslovakia and then, having been ordained priest, helped to build several other houses of the congregation. In 1942-1945 he was arrested in the Nazi concentration camps of Terezin, Mauthausen and Dachau. Pope Pius XII appointed him in 1947 bishop of Litomerice. After the Communist coup, Trochta headed Church delegation for negotiations with the State, but soon it was stopped. In 1953-1960 he was arrested and only in 1968 allowed to hold his episcopal office. Pope Paul VI appointed him cardinal "in pectore" in 1969, the nomination being announced in 1973. At that time Cardinal Trochta's health was already very poor because of several problems he had to face in his service. He had to undergo surgery in March 1974. A week later, still weakened and unable to move, he was visited by a Communist "secretary for the Church." The officer, drunken and angry, enforced Cardinal Trochta to receive him and during a 6-hour talk he was offending him and threatening. Next morning, a nurse found the cardinal in agony; he died in a hospital few hours later.

 

Second person of the Litomerice diocese is Father Ladislav Kubicek. Although his beatification process is not planned to start yet, he is believed to be saint by many people. Father Kubicek was born in 1926 in Carpathian Ruthenia, studied in Brno and in 1950 started to work as a physician in several places of the south Moravia. He also studied Theology in secret. In 1959 he was dismissed from work in hospital and as a person "hostile for the Communist regime" sent to work in mines. In 1967 he was secretly ordained priest by Bishop Trochta and when he was allowed in 1969, he started to serve in several parishes in northern regions of the Czech Republic. Since 1999 he worked as a pastor in Trebenice, where he was killed on Sep 11, 2004 by two people he knew well after he had caught them robbing at his home.