Stay awake and pray at all times...

Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 34th week of Ordinary Time - Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21, 34-36 - Stay awake and pray at all times: so that you may stand before the Son of Man.

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November 20 - Edmond was born 841 in Norbury. He is the son of Æthelweard, in Kent, a descendant of the Saxon kings of East Anglia. At the age of fourteen, he was chosen by King Æthelstan to succeed him as head of the kingdom, because this king was going to live as a hermit in the Holy Land, to end his life in prayer and repentance.

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When the nobles of Norfolk gathered on Christmas Day 854, they chose Edmund and the people of Suffolk agreed. As Edmund was on his way to the kingdom, he knelt and prayed for a long time, and when he raised his head, twelve springs of water rose from the ground. On Christmas Day 856, he was consecrated in the church of Suffolk, receiving his wreath from the hands of the Bishop of Hulme and his predecessor's advisers. Edmund was the first of the kings, saints, making holiness a part of his kingdom's program of administration. According to Abbon, a monk who wrote the history of St. Edmund, Edmund freed slaves, and was a merciful father to orphans and widows, very careful in managing the affairs of the kingdom.

In 865, the Danes did not obtain the ransom they demanded to Edmond and invaded their kingdom, destroying Northumbria and Mercy. In 869, the Vikings attacked East Anglia, the city was engulfed in flames and a bloodbath ensued. Edmond fell in battle at Thetford on November 20, 870, and was held captive by the Danes. His captors promised freedom, the return of his kingdom and his life if he agreed to renounce Christianity. Edmond, however, refused, firm in his faith. The Danes tied him to a tree, riddled him with arrows before cutting off his head and throwing him into a deep hole in the forest.

When the Christians went to get Edmond's head after recovering his body, they shouted in the woods, "Where are you?" and they heard King Edmund's voice answer, "Here!" until they found him under the feet of a large animal, which prevented him from being eaten by other animals. Edmond's body was first buried in Hoxne, near a river 30 km from Thetford, and in 903 it was in the church of the monastery of Beodricsworth, now Bury.