Adalbert, Wojciech, Vojtěch

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German/Polish/Czech/Slovak
(Adal-bert) (VOY-chehk); (VOY-tyek).

The name, Adalbert, is derived from the Germanic elements adal meaning “noble” and behrt meaning “bright; shining; illustrious.”

The name was borne by a 9th century saint, who was known as the apostle of the Slavs.

He was a German Bishop of the town of Madgeburg who was assigned under the Pope as a missionary to Russia, upon the request of Queen Olga. Olga’s son oppossed Adalbert’s visit, and had his companions slain while Adalbert himself barely escaped alive. He returned to Germany where he established several archbishopric’s and trained missionaries for the Slavic tribes.

His feast day is commemorated on June 20.

One of his students was St. Adalbert of Prague, also known as Vojtech, in Czech, (or Slovakian), and as Wojciech, in Polish.

He was born into a noble Czech family in Bohemia and studied in Madgeburg under Adalbert of Madgeburg. He returned to Prague and entered the priesthood, eventually becoming the Bishop of Prague.

He was noted for his rejection of wealth and insisted to live a life of poverty. As a result, he gave up his Bishop’s position and decided to become a hermit instead. However, the pope had other plans for him in mind. The pope talked him back into becoming a bishop and was sent on a mission to convert the neighboring Slavs and Prussians in Poland.

He was succesful in coverting the Polish King Boleslaw the Brave, but met resistance in the west of Poland.

He was beheaded by the locals when he attempted to cut down an oak tree. He was martyred in what is now Elblag, Poland.

King Boleslaw retrieved his body and consecrated a church, in his honour, in Gniezno, Poland, where his body is still interned. His cult is still very popular in Poland, where he is known as Wojchiech (VOY-chehk).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Apke (Frisian)
  • Adalberta (Basque)
  • Adalbertu (Corsican)
  • Adalbert (Czech/Catalan/English/French/German/Hungarian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Adelbert/Edelbert (German)
  • Adelbrecht (German)
  • Adelspret (German: Austrian dialectical form)
  • Aðalbert (Icelandic)
  • Adalbertus (Latin)
  • Adalberts (Latvian)
  • Adalbertas (Lithuanian)
  • Ahlert/Alert (Plattdeutsch)
  • Adal’bert Адальберт (Russian)
  • Aebi (Swiss-German)
  • Adalberto (Spanish/Galician/Italian/Portuguese)
  • Edilberto (Spanish)

Feminine forms are Adalberta and Adalbertina.