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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20 -- Feast of Saint Edmund of East Anglia



An arrow in a saint's portrait never suggests a peaceful death
Edmund of East Anglia was crowned king of his country on Christmas Day, AD 855, at age fourteen.  Most of us, I fear, would learn to abuse our power and indulge our worst desires if we became absolute monarchs at such a young age.  Nero (emperor at age 17) and Commodus (co-emperor at age 16, sole ruler at 19) are two easy examples.

Is he bristling like a hedgehog?  Not yet!
Not our boy Edmund, though.  He sought spiritual perfection for himself and justice for the East Anglians.  In fact, he shut himself up in an abbey for a year to learn the Psalter (Book of Psalms and other devotional writings).  I find it hard to imagine that the country could chug along on its own without a ruler for a whole year, but perhaps his administration was sophisticated enough to run without him.  Or justice had blossomed to such an extent that government was nearly unnecessary.  Or he wasn't quite as cloistered as that.