05 January 2009

Today in 1163, this king of England died. His incorrupt body was transferred by St. Thomas Becket in the presence of King Henry II on the 13th of October.

After the Danes overran England, Edward spent his youth in Normandy, delighting in the chase and other recreations, as well as serving at Mass and acquainting himself with religious. At the age of 40, when the Dane Hardicanute passed away, Edward was made king by popular acclamation. His reign was one of peace, Edward undertaking no wars except to repel the invasion of the Welsh and to aid Malcolm III of Scotland against his usurper Macbeth. His chief concern was for his people, and thus he imposed no taxes and was generous in giving out alms. Both he and his wife Editha took a vow of chastity and lived as brother and sister throughout their married life, and Edward was known to have miraculously cured the sick merely by his touch. Having commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Abbey, King Edward was buried there a week after its dedication.

He is the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. Edward was named patron saint of England until 1348, when he was replaced by St. George. He remains the patron saint of the Royal Family.

St. Edward the Confessor, pray for us