Saint Of The Day

20 November

Saint Edmund the Martyr King and Martyr(841-870)        

St. Edmund was elected king of the East Angles in 855 at the age of fourteen and began ruling Suffolk, England, the following year.        

In 869 or 870, the Danes invaded Edmund’s realm, and he was captured at Hone, in Suffolk. After extreme torture, Edmund was beheaded and died calling upon Jesus.        

According to Abbo of Fleury’s vita “His severed head was thrown into the wood. Day and night as Edmund’s followers went seeking, calling out “Where are you, friend?” the head answered, “Here, here, here,” until at last, “a great wonder”, they found Edmund’s head in the possession of a grey wolf, clasped between its paws. “They were astonished at the wolf’s guardianship”.The wolf, sent by God to protect the head from the animals of the forest, was starving but did not eat the head for all the days it was lost. After recovering the head the villagers marched back to the kingdom, praising God and the wolf that served him. The wolf walked beside them as if tame all the way to the town, after which it turned around and vanished into the forest.”        

His shrine brought about the town of Bury St. Edmund’s. ©Evangelizo.org Other saints: Saint Edmund (d.869)He was king of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia, covering modern Suffolk, Norfolk, and part of Lincolnshire. Very little documentary evidence for the details of his life exists, but it is known that Edmund was captured and killed by the Danish Great Heathen Army, which invaded England in 869, and the tradition is that he died the death of a Christian martyr.   

Edmund’s body was buried in a wooden chapel near to where he was killed, but was later transferred to Beadoriceworth, where in 925 Athelstan founded a community devoted to the new cult. Thirty years after Edmund’s death, he was venerated by the Vikings of East Anglia, who produced a coinage to commemorate him.   

In the 11th century a stone church was built at Bury, and Edmund’s remains were translated to it. The shrine at Bury St Edmunds became one of the greatest pilgrimage locations in England and the town retains St Edmund’s name to this day.

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