Saint of the Day: St. Edward the Confessor
Edward, the last king of the Anglo-Saxons, a grandson of the martyr-king Edward, passed his youth in exile with his uncle, a Norman leader. In an environment of sin he preserved innocence of life. Called to the throne of England in 1042, he sought to put into practice the Christian ideals for a ruler, with the help of God’s grace. His first efforts were directed toward a renewal of religion in the hearts of his people. Priests were invited into his kingdom, churches were built. Yielding to pressure, he married, but is said to have retained virginity during his whole married life.
His favorite saint was St. John the Evangelist; he would not deny any request asked in his name. One day the Beloved Disciple appeared to him in the form of a beggar and asked alms in the name of the fourth evangelist; as Edward had no ready money, he gave up the ring on his finger. Shortly thereafter St. John returned the ring with the message that his death was near. The king ordered public prayers to be said for himself and died in the Lord on the day foretold, January 5, 1066.
Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patron: Difficult marriages; kings; separated spouses.
Symbols: Elderly king offering a ring or coin to Saint John who is disguised as a beggar; ring in his hand; scepter surmounted by a dove; purse; St. John’s Gospel; sealed scroll; crown; ring.