Menology of England and Wales – Saint Edward, King, Confessor, 1066

image of Saint Edward the Confessor, a detail from 'Richard II of England with his patron saints' from the Wilton Diptych, 1395, tempera on oak panel, National Gallery, London, EnglandArticle

Saint Edward the Confessor, whose memory is still dear and venerated throughout the nation which he ruled, though born in England, was from early childhood brought up in Normandy, but without a mother’s care and affection. All this she reserved for the children of her second husband, King Canute, the Dane, the foreign occupant of the throne of her first husband, the English King, Ethelred. Unexpectedly, and against his will, Edward was called in middle age to assume the crown and the burden of rule, for which his education and previous life had not prepared him. By nature he was endowed with few of the qualities which go to make a great sovereign. He indeed possessed a regal dignity and grace of manner and person, set off by blitheness of temper and true kindliness of heart; he was a model of purity of life and unaffected piety, chaste and mild. His power lay not in strength, but essentially in goodness, and by virtue of this goodness he was enabled without bloodshed to impose peace on warring factions, and keep in check high and unscrupulous ambitions, to secure fidelity at home and respect abroad. In the course of his reign of twenty-four years, the love of him entered into the heart of his people. He became to them the good King Edward, the peaceful King, whose memory was so dear, that to have trifled with his simplicity and sincerity seemed in their eyes little less than a crime. His contemporaries had no doubt that he possessed even in his lifetime the gift of miracles, some of which are recorded by one who knew him well. The Abbey of Westminster, which he refounded, and where his relics still repose, bears testimony alike to Edward’s devotion to Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and to the veneration of the English people, until the change of religion, for the Saint, who was the last of their Kings of the ancient race. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III in the year 1161. The festival of Saint Edward is now observed throughout the Church on the 13th October, the day of his solemn translation.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Stanton. “Saint Edward, King, Confessor, 1066”. Menology of England and Wales, 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 April 2015. Web. 21 October 2016. <>