A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Edmund the Martyr (c841-c869). Commemoration of the death of the model Christian King of the East Angles who, with Edward the Confessor, was regarded as one of England’s patron saints until they were replaced by the Third-Century St George in 1350, the latter having been from Cappadocia (present-day Turkey) and never having visited this country or slayed a dragon. Edmund was traditionally crowned on 25 December 855 at Burna (Bures St Mary, Suffolk), at that time the royal capital. When the Great Heathen Army, a coalition of Scandinavian warriors, advanced on East Anglia, they killed Edmund and destroyed any contemporary evidence of his reign. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Edmund died in battle on 20 November 869, having according to tradition refused the demand that he renounce Christ, been beaten and shot with arrows, and then beheaded on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba. According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found by searchers following an ethereal wolf calling out in Latin, “Hic, Hic, Hic” – “Here, Here, Here”. The saint’s remains were translated to Bury St Edmunds in 903 and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage as a popular cult emerged. A coinage commemorating Edmund was minted around 918, when East Anglia was absorbed by the kingdom of Wessex and then became part of the new Kingdom of England in 927. Edmund’s remains were temporarily translated to London for safekeeping in 1010, until the Saxon St Edmund’s Abbey in Bury St Edmunds Abbey was founded in 1020 by Knut the Great (Knut Magnus), King of England, Denmark and Norway, and became one of the richest and largest Benedictine monasteries in England, growing in power and wealth until its suppression in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when Edmund’s shrine was destroyed. The shrine had been visited by many kings and the Abbey had been rebuilt by the Normans in 1095. Medieval manuscripts and works of art relating to Edmund include Abbo’s Passio Sancti Eadmundi, John Lydgate’s Fourteenth-Century Life, the Wilton Diptych small, portable altarpiece, and a number of church wall paintings. Patron Saint of the Diocese of East Anglia, Suffolk, Douai Abbey, Toulouse, Kings, pandemics and torture victims. Image: azquotes.com.
Prayer May St Edmund the Martyr with St Edmund of Canterbury illuminate our hearts with the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we may be ever obedient to God’s commandments. Amen
St Felix of Valois (1127-1212). Traditional commemoration of the French Confessor, a Cistercian hermit who is said to have renounced his possessions and retired to a dense forest in the Diocese of Meaux, where he gave himself to prayer and contemplation. At over seventy, Felix visited the Pope in Rome and co-founded with John of Matha, a young nobleman from Provence, the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives (Trinitarian Order). John of Matha, as superior-general, commissioned the Bishop of Paris and the Abbot of St Victor to draw up a Rule for the institute and Felix returned to France to establish the Order there. It was granted 20 acres (81,000 m2) of the wood where Felix had built his first hermitage and he erected the famous Monastery of Cerfroid in Brumetz, Picardy (now 50 km east of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport). Within forty years the Order had six hundred monasteries in every part of Europe and John of Matha’s house of the Order in Rome at the church of Santa Maria in Navicella still stands on the Caelian Hill. Felix remained in France to serve the congregation and founded a house in Paris attached to the church of St Maturinus. Felix died amongst his fellow Trinitarians at the motherhouse in Cerfroid on 4 November 1212. Venerated in Catholic Church. Major shrine Monastery of Cerfroid His Feast Day was kept in the Diocese of Meaux from 1215 and in 1679 transferred to 20 November, as 4 November was the Feast Day of Charles Borromeo, but in 1969 it was restored to 4 November, his dies natalis (birth date). Image: spreadjesus.org.
Nostra Signora della Guardia (Our Lady of La Guarde, Notre-Dame de la Garde). In the Twelfth Century, a Greek hermit in Constantinople received in blessing at Santa Sofia the icon of Our Lady of La Guarde, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus and attributed to St Luke the Evangelist. An inscription on the icon said that it one day be taken to the mountain of the guard. When in 1160 the hermit reached Bologna on his travels, he was greeted by the local people and the icon was placed in a small hermitage chapel atop the Colle della Guardia hill four miles outside the city tended by two holy women. Construction of a church began in 1193 and from 1294 Dominican monks were there until the Napoleonic suppression of 1799. Among the many miracles attributed to the image is especially noted the 1433 Miracle of the Rain, when heavy rain threatened to destroy the crops and cause famine, but the Blessed Virgin stopped the storm, leading to annual processions. The icon was crowned in 1603 and the present sanctuary of the Virgin of Saint Luke was built in 1723 and is now a national monument and a minor basilica. Image: lovevda.it.