A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

St. Edward the Confessor

St Edward’s Day (Edward the Confessor, Edwardus Rex, Ēadƿeard Andettere, King of England) (1004-66). Church of England and Catholic Church in England and Wales Feast Day for unworldly and pious Oxfordshire Anglo-Saxon king who was of the House of Wessex and the son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy. During Edward’s childhood, England was subjected to Norse raids and invasions under Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Cnut. Following Sweyn’s seizure of the throne in 1013, Edward’s mother Emma fled to Normandy, followed by Edward. Sweyn’s son Cnut the Great was king from 1016 to 1035, his son Harold I (Harold Harefoot) to 1040 and Edward’s half-brother Harthacnut to 1042, when Edward succeeded to the throne and restored the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since 1016. Edward died without a heir on 5 January 1066 in London and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson (Harold II) , the last Anglo-Saxon crowned king of England, who was defeated and killed that year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Edward’s young great-nephew Edgar the Ætheling, who was also of the House of Wessex, was proclaimed king after the Battle, never crowned and peacefully deposed after about eight weeks. Venerated in Church of England and Catholic Church. The title of Confessor reflects Edward’s reputation as a saint who did not suffer martyrdom as opposed to his uncle, the 975 to 978 King Edward the Martyr. Major shrine Westminster Abbey. Patron of kings, difficult marriages, separated spouses and the British Royal Family. Edward was one of England’s national saints until King Edward III adopted George of Lydda as the national patron saint in about 1350. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.

Prayer Most glorious St Edward, you showed your devotion to God with patience, gentleness and generosity. Like you, may we serve to strengthen the Kingdom of God through patient prayer and charity. We pray that in these troubled times we too may follow your example of piety and devotion. Amen

St Comgan (Eighth Century). Feast Day for Irish chieftain and brother of St Kentigern. Comgan was wounded in battle and exiled to Scotland by neighbouring Irish tribes, with his relatives including his sister and her children, one of whom was St  Fillan. Comgan settled in Lochalsh, now connected to the Isle of Skye by a road bridge, and founded a small monastery where he lived devoutly for many years as a monk and Abbot. Comgan died on Iona and Fillan buried him and built a church in his honour. Venerated as a saint who was a priest. The place-names Kilchoan and Kilcongen are believed to record his memory, as do several church dedications in Scotland. Image: pyhiinvaeltaja.wordpress.com.

St Romulus (d730). Roman Catholic Feast Day for the Benedictine abbot who headed the monastery founded by St Baudillius near Nismes (Nîmes) in present-day France. Baudillius had been born in the Third or Fourth Century in that part of Celtic Gaul that lay towards the Loire and had his name assigned to him by St Gregory of Tours in the Sixth Century. Baudillius was married and bore arms, although he is also said to have been subdeacon in the Church of Orleans. He suffered martyrdom at Nismes and is a saint of some celebrity in Spain and France. Romulus and his community were menaced by Saracens in the St Baudillius monastery around 720, after troops of the Umayyad Caliphate crossed the Pyrenees in 719 and threatened the Visigothic nobles in Nîmes with incorporation into al-Andalus. The monks who fled with Romulus went to the lost monastery of Saissy-les-Bois. St Romulus of Genoa (Remo, Rœmu) (d641). Old General Roman Calendar Feast Day, on the traditional date of his death, for the noted Italian theologian and Confessor who was an early Bishop of Genoa. He fled from Genoa and never returned, dying in the cave he inhabited at Villa Matutiæ. In 876, his remains were translated to the church of San Siro in Genoa, which was reconsecrated in 1023. The town of Villa Matutiæ on the Italian Riviera later adopted his name, becoming San Remo from the Fifteenth Century until the first half of the Twentieth Century and then Sanremo. Since he was invoked in defence of Villa Matutiæ by its inhabitants during an enemy attack, the saint is depicted in episcopal dress with a sword in his hand. Venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint who was a Bishop. Alternative Old General Roman Calendar Feast Day 22 December. Roman Catholic Feast Day 6 November, celebrated in the Archdiocese of Genoa together with two more of its early bishops, Saint Valentine of Genoa and Saint Felix of Genoa. Image: haikudeck.com.