Today we commemorate the life of Blessed Hroznata, martyr of our Order. Hroznata was born of noble parents in Bohemia around 1170. His mother consecrated him to the care of the Blessed Virgin from his birth. Although he appeared to be a still-born child, his mother’s trust in the Virgin Mary’s intercession brought Hroznata both life and good health. Twice as a young boy he came close to death: once when the heavy wheels of a carriage passed over him, and again when he fell into a river. But Hroznata grew into a distinguished young man and married a young lady from a noble family. After the premature death of his wife and child, he felt alone and abandoned. But, turning his vision to the spiritual, he resolved to place his earthly riches at the disposal of the Church. In 1193 he gave his lands and possessions to the Norbertine Order for the foundation of the Abbey of Tepl. He made a promise to God to take part in the Crusade of 1197 and left with the Crusaders for the Holy Land. Several obstacles, especially in the transporting of the Crusaders by sea, led to the abandonment of the Crusade. Hroznata returned home via Rome where he was released from his promise by Pope Celestin III, who encouraged him instead to found a community of Norbertine sisters at Chotieschow. In the meantime Hroznata felt a growing desire to enter the Order himself. To that end he sought advice from the pope and received the white habit of the Order from Innocent III in 1202. Many trials awaited Hroznata. Upon returning to Tepl as a laybrother, he was appointed overseer of the abbey’s immense lands and became embroiled in various disputes involving property rights and ownership of land. With the power invested in him by his abbot, Hroznata fought strenuously against greedy nobles who tried in every way to gain control of the patrimony of Tepl. With courage and strength he openly opposed these men, thereby making many enemies. One day while travelling from Tepl to Lichtenstadt, Hroznata was seized by a band of hostile knights and imprisoned on Mt. Kinsberg. There he suffered a slow and agonizing death by starvation. He died on July 14, 1217. His cult as a martyr was officially confirmed by the Holy See in 1897. Hroznata is pictured with the crown of nobility which he renounced for the sake of Christ’s kingdom, and with the palm of martyrdom, holding a church which recalls his foundation of the Abbey of Tepl.
Hic est vere martyr, qui pro Christi nómine sánguinem suum fudit, qui minas iúdicum non tímuit, sed ad cæléstia regna pervénit