St Edmund the Martyr.

posted by: Alan Vine | on: Thursday, 15 September 2016, 17:54

Saint Edmund the Martyr

Saint Edmund the Martyr

St Edmund the Martyr. According to the Royal Society of St George, George became patron saint of England when King Henry V led the English army to its famous victory at Agincourt on 25th of October, 1415. Previous to this Edmund the Martyr was our patron saint.

Edmund was born on Christmas Day 841 AD and was crowned King of East Anglia in the year 856. He fought alongside King Alfred of Wessex against the pagan Viking and Norse invaders (the Great Heathen Army) until 869 when his army was defeated and Edmund was captured by the Vikings.

According to the 10th century account of the saint’s life by Abbo of Fleury, after Edmund refused to renounce his Christian faith he was bound to a tree, shot with arrows and then beheaded. According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found safe by searchers after following the cries of a wolf who protected his head and called out “Hic, Hic, Hic” (“Here, Here, Here”) to guide Edmund’s followers.

His place of death is not known with any degree of certainty what is known is that his remains were interred in Bury St Edmunds where King Athelstan founded a religious community to care for his shrine which became a place of national pilgrimage. In 1020 King Canute built an Abbey to house the shrine.

During the Dissolution of the Monasteries his shrine was destroyed and his remains were removed to France and remained there until 1911. Today they are kept in the chapel at Arundel Castle.

In 2006 an attempt was made to have St Edmund reinstalled as patron saint of England. A petition was handed in to Parliament but was rejected by the government. In 2013 the Greene King brewery based in Bury St Edmunds, launched a campaign to reinstate St Edmund as patron saint. This campaign questioned whether St George, patron saint of 16 other countries, had ever visited England and suggested he should be replaced by an Englishman and who better than the Anglo-Saxon King Edmund the Martyr.

 Posted: 15 Sep 2016 | There are 0 comments

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