Blessed Mlada of Prague
Feast day : February 8
Mlada was a Benedictine abbess and founder of the first monastery in Bohemia. In 965 she undertook a diplomatic trip to Rome and was instrumental in the formation of the Diocese of Prague.
Mlada was the youngest daughter of the Bohemian prince Boleslav I. The 12th-century Chronica Boemorum by Cosmas of Prague describes her as an educated woman; she had studied Latin and was destined for a clerical career. In the years 965 to 969, she was sent by her father to Rome to Pope John XIII to request permission for the establishment of a separate diocese for Bohemia and Moravia. The negotiations were tough. Bohemia was part of the Diocese of Regensburg and Bishop Michael refused to forego the revenue from Czech churches until his death on 23 September 972. The approval was only granted by his successor, Wolfgang of Regensburg. Mlada left Rome in the winter of 972 and returned to Prague. The ecclesiastical permission was followed by secular negotiations. After the Reichstag, meeting in Quedlinburg in March 973, had decided to approve the foundation of the diocese, it took another three years, to 976, until Dětmar was ordained as the first bishop of Prague.
Mlada had also brought another result of her diplomatic mission back to Bohemia: the permission to found a monastery. During her stay in Rome she had entered the Order of Saint Benedict, adopting the religious name Maria, and had been ordained as abbess. Thus she was able to lead the newly formed Abbey at St. George's Church in the Prague Castle, the very first congregation in Bohemia. She held this office until her death.