Myths, legends and real facts have combined and the story of St. John of Nepomuk came to life.
He was a worthy, valuable man in the cleric society of those times and was offered the bishop’s place many times, but each time he refused with honesty, considering that there were others, far more worthy than he was. Here is where legend and reality come apart. Chronicles say that he had learned of the King’s plan to reward an unworthy cleric with an abbey and he convinced the monks into electing a new abbot behind King Wenceslas IV back. He was therefore accused of treachery and sent to prison along with the archbishop and others. The archbishop managed to escape, but John of Nepomuk was tortured to death and his body was plunged into the River Vltava (Moldau).
It is said that in the same night when John was murdered, seven stars were seen over the very spot where he was drowned.
As time passed, another hypothesis was spread along with the Saint’s story. As legend has it, King Wenceslas IV was a very jealous man and suspected his wife of being unfaithful. Wanting to find out the truth, he asked vicar John to inform him of his wife’s confession. As John refused, the king had him murdered and thrown in the river.
John Wolfin, born in Nepomuk, was canonized in 1729 as Patron Saint of: discretion, floods and slander.
For more pictures see St. John Nepomuk photo gallery