This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 28 -- Alfred the Great

I had not known that King Alfred of Wessex was a saint; I did know him as the guy who rightly gets credit for preventing a complete Danish conquest of England though is sometimes wrongly believed to have united all England under his rule. Like any epic hero, he was down and out for a spell, hiding in the bushes and being chastised by angry housefraus who didn't like their cakes burning on the hearth, but struggled back and won a smashing victory. Having defeated the invaders, he forced them to take baptism. While I find this theologically suspect, I can understand why it warranted canonization.

For my own part, I am far more impressed that he translated Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Gregory's Pastoral Rule, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, and Gregory's Dialogues. I suppose it should count as one of his miracles that he was a fierce and successful warrior who was also a scholar and translator. If so, maybe he does deserve sainthood.

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