Thursday, 26 October 2017

# Saints

Saint Alfred the Great

Statue of Alfred the Great by Hamo Thornycroftin Winchester, unveiled during the millenary commemoration of Alfred's death.

The 26th of October is the feast day of Saint Alfred the Great.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:
(Also Ælfred).
King of the West-Saxons, born Wantage, Berkshire, England 849; died 899.
Alfred was the fifth son of Ethelwulf, or Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, and Osburh, his queen, of the royal house of the Jutes of Wight. When he was four years old, according to a story which has been repeated so frequently that it is generally accepted as true, he was sent by his father to Rome, where he was anointed king by Pope Leo IV. This, however like many other legends which have crystallized about the name of Alfred, is without foundation. Two years later, in 855, Ethelwulf went on a pilgrimage to Rome, taking Alfred with him. This visit, recorded by Asser, is accepted as authentic by modern historians.


In 858 Ethelwulf died and Wessex was governed by his sons, Ethelbald, Ethelbert, and Ethelred, successively, until 871, when Alfred came to the throne. Nothing is known of his movements during the reigns of Ethelbald and Ethelbert, but Asser, speaking of him during the reign of Ethelred, gives him the title of Secundarius. In 868 he married Ealhswith, daughter of Ethelred, surnamed the Mickle, Ealdorman of the Gainas. The West-Saxons and the Mercians were then engaged in a war against the invading Danes and Alfred took an active part in the struggle. He ascended the throne during the thickest of this conflict, but before the end of the year he succeeded in effecting a peace, probably by paying a sum of money to the invaders.
Wessex enjoyed a measure of peace for a few years, but about 875 the Danes renewed their attacks. They were repulsed then, and again in 876 and 877, on each occasion making solemn pledges of peace. In 878 came the great invasion under Guthrum. For a few months the Danes met with success, but about Easter Alfred established himself at Athelney and later marched to Brixton, gathering new forces on the way. In the battle of Ethandún (probably the present Edington, in Wiltshire) he defeated the Danes. Guthrum agreed to a peace and consented to be baptized. It is in connection with this struggle that many of the legends of Alfred have sprung up and been perpetuated - the story of the burnt cakes, the account of his visit to the Danish camp in the guise of a harper, and many others.
For fifteen years Alfred's kingdom was at peace, but in 903 the Danes who had been driven out made another onslaught. This war lasted for four years and resulted in the final establishment of Saxon supremacy. These struggles had another result, hardly less important than the freedom from Danish oppression. The successive invasions had crushed out of existence most of the individual kingdoms. Alfred made Wessex a rallying point for all the Saxons and by freeing the country of the invaders unwittingly unified England and prepared the way for the eventual supremacy of his successors.
Popular fancy has been busy with other phases of Alfred's career than that which is concerned with his military achievements. He is generally credited with establishing trial by jury, the law of "frank-pledge", and many other institutions which were rather the development of national customs of long standing. He is represented as the founder of Oxford, a claim which recent research has disproved. But even the elimination of the legendary from Alfred's history does not in any way diminish his greatness, so much is there of actual, recorded achievement to his credit. His own estimate of what he did for the regeneration of England is modest beside the authentic history of his deeds.
He endeavoured, he tells us, to gather all that seemed good in the old English laws, and adds: "I durst not venture much of mine own to set down, for I knew not what should be approved by those who came after us." Not only did he codify and promulgate laws, but he looked, too, to their enforcement, and insisted that justice should be dispensed without fear or favour. He devoted his energies to restoring what had been destroyed by the long wars with the invaders. Monasteries were rebuilt and founded, and learned men brought from other lands. He brought Archbishop Plegmund and Bishop Wetfrith from Mercia; Grimbold and John the Old-Saxon from other Teutonic lands; Asser, John Scotus Erigena and many others.
He not only encouraged men of learning, but he laboured himself and gave proof of his own learning. He translated into Anglo-Saxon: "The Consolation of Philosophy" of Boëthius; "The History of the World" of Orosius; the "Ecclesiastical History" of Bede, and the "Pastoral Rule" and the "Dialogues" of St. Gregory the Great. The "Consolation of Philosophy" he not only translated but adapted, adding much of his own. The "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", the record of the English race from the earliest time, was inspired by him.
BOWKER, Editor, Alfred the Great (London, 1899); PLUMMER, Life of Alfred the Great (London, 1902); SCHMID, Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, 2d ed. (1858). Contemporary authorities are the Life of Alfred by ASSER and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. These and the later accounts by ETHELWERD, SIMEON OF DURHAM, etc. can be conveniently studied in CONYBEARE, Alfred in the Chroniclers (1900). For Alfred's writings see BOSWORTH, The Works of Alfred the Great (Jubilee edition, 1858, 2 vols.). Alfred's laws are printed in LIEBERMANN'S Laws of the Anglo-Saxons (1903). Among modern accounts see PAULI, Life of Alfred the Great. tr. WRIGHT (1852); LAPPENBERG, England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings, tr. from the German by THORPE (1881), II; LINGARD, History of England, I; KNIGHT, Life of King Alfred (1880). For a literary appreciation, see BROOKE, History of English Literature to the Norman Conquest (London and New York, 1878).
THOMAS GAFFNEY TAAFFE

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

February 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, you whom my Son loves, you whom I love with an immeasurable motherly love, do not permit for selfishness, for self love, to rule the world. Do not permit for love and goodness to be hidden. You who are loved, who have come to know the love of my Son, remember that to be loved means to love. My children, have faith. When you have faith you are happy and are spreading peace; your soul trembles with joy. My Son is in such a soul. When you are giving yourself for the faith, when you are giving yourself for love, when you are doing good to your neighbor, my Son smiles in your soul. Apostles of my love, I am turning to you as a mother. I am gathering you around myself and I desire to lead you on the way of love and faith, on the way which leads to the light of the world. I am here for the sake of love, for the sake of faith, because with my motherly blessing I desire to give you hope and strength on your way - because the way which leads to my Son is not easy. It is full of renunciation, giving, sacrifice, forgiveness and much, much love. But this way leads to peace and happiness. My children, do not believe lying voices which speak to you about false things, false glitter. You, my children, return to the Scripture. I am looking at you with immeasurable love, and through God's grace am making myself evident to you. My children, set out with me. May your soul tremble with joy. Thank you.

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