Tuesday 12th December 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

October 10, 2017 saints No Comments


In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so common when a kingdom is sought by more than one party.
Edward, the son of King Ethelred the Unready and his second wife, Emma of Normandy, was born in 1003. He was the seventh son of Ethelred, but the firstborn of his second wife who also gave birth to another son, Alfred, and daughter, Godgifu. The family lived in Islip, Oxfordshire, England at the time.
When Edward was still very young, a 1013 Viking raid led by Sweyn Forkbeard and his son, Cnut, seized the English throne from Ethelred. Emma fled to Normandy with Edward and Alfred. Shortly thereafter, Ethelred followed them. Historians concluded that it was during this time in Normandy that Edward developed his piety and love of the poor as he was mentored by Robert of Jumieges.
The following year, when Sweyn died, the people of England invited Ethelred to return and claim the throne if he would rule more justly than he had before. Ethelred agreed, but did not return immediately, sending Edward in his place, accompanied by his personal ambassadors.
Before he could return, Ethelred died in April 1016, leaving his eldest son, Edmund Ironside, to rule as his successor. However, Sweyn’s son, Cnut, had not left England when his father had died and continued to fight for his right to rule England.
The struggle for ascendancy continued until Edmund died in November 1016. Since Edward was the son of Ethelred and thus in line for the throne, he was a threat to Cnut. Even when his mother, Emma, married Cnut, the threat remained. Cnut even had Edward’s half-brother Eadwig executed.
Once again, Edward and his sister Godgifu fled into exile, beyond the reach of Cnut. Sadly, his own mother did nothing to protect the lives of her two children.
For 25 years, Edward lived in Normandy, most likely surviving on the benevolence of Godgifu who was married to Drogo of Mantes, count of Vexin. He also acted as king when he witnessed two of the four charters issued in the early 1030s in Normandy. In addition, he deepened his relationship with the Abbot Robert of the Norman abbey in Jumieges.
Meanwhile, Emma gave birth to Harthacnut, son of Cnut, and focused her attention on promoting his claim to the throne in England.
However, when Cnut died in 1035, Harthacnut preferred solidifying his position as King of Denmark. Then in 1036 Edward and Alfred, his younger brother, returned to England. Alfred was captured by Cnut’s relatives; he was tortured and died at their hands. Soon Edward returned to the safety of Normandy where he was regarded as a great soldier and statesman.
In 1037, Harold, the elder half-brother of Harthacnut, was accepted as king of England and soon banished Emma from England. His reign was short and he died in 1040, leaving the way open for Harthacnut to take the English throne.
In 1041, Harthacnut brought Edward back to England as heir and in 1042 with the support of Godwin — one of the most powerful men in England — Edward succeeded to the throne. Harthacnut had died and Edward, so very popular with the people, began his reign when he was crowned at Winchester Cathedral on April 3, 1043.
Emma, who had done so little to protect Edward, and even undermined his claim to the throne, was disciplined for unfaithfulness. Perhaps Edward was also motivated by the royal treasure she reputedly held. He and his three close associates rode back to Winchester in November 1043, and confiscated all of her property. Before her death in 1052, Edward restored Emma to her former position.
The intrigues among the various lines of rulers and powerful men such as Godwin continued to fester during the reign of Edward. After a series of abductions and bribes which went against him, he arranged marriages and granted lands that solidified his position as king. His love for the poor and his piety also endeared him to the people of England. Furthermore, with the tenacity, impetuousness, and formidable qualities he inherited from his parents, Ethelred and Emma, he maintained control of the kingdom.
In 1043, after Godwin’s eldest son, Sweyn, was appointed to an earldom, Edward married Edith, Godwin’s daughter. Since he had taken a vow of chastity when he was in Normandy, he and Edith agreed to remain chaste.
During this time King Magnus of Norway conspired to seize Edward’s throne, so Edward took control of the fleet in Sandwich. Sweyn II of Denmark submitted to Edward in order to prevent Magnus from taking over the throne of Denmark as well, but Edward refused to form an alliance with him. Only when Magnus died did the threats to the two thrones cease, with both rulers retaining their thrones.
Although Edward’s wealth was greater than any others, his lands were widely dispersed, leaving him with no secure base for his rule. He did not seek any more power and he even disbanded the navy he had obtained in Sandwich and for which he had levied a tax. The tax was cancelled in 1051.
Also in 1051 civil war almost broke out between Edward and Godwin over Church matters. Edward claimed authority over ecclesiastical appointments — not uncommon at that time. When the clergy and monks elected a relative of Godwin to be archbishop of Canterbury, Edward rejected the election and appointed his longtime friend from Normandy, Robert of Jumieges, an enemy of Godwin. Robert accused Godwin of trying to kill Edward just as he had killed his brother Alfred in 1036.
At this point, Edward sent his wife Edith to a nunnery, partly because she was Godwin’s daughter but mostly because they lived a celibate life, anyway.
Edward seemed to become disinterested in ruling and his wishes for a successor were never clearly determined. He died on January 5, 1066. Because of his sympathies for the Normans, some speculate that he wanted William of Normandy to succeed him, accounting for William’s invasion of England that same year.
The primary legacy of Edward is Westminster Abbey. The building was completed shortly after his death. Besides Edward the Confessor, many other members of royalty are buried there.
There seems to be little information on the holiness and sacrifices of Edward, but many miracles were attributed to his intercession as was the period of relative peace for the time he ruled from 1042 to 1066. He was called Edward the Confessor because he professed the Catholic faith. His feast is celebrated on October 13.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Facebook Is ‘Ripping Apart’ Society, Former Executive Warns

Last month, former Facebook president Sean Parker expressed fears over what the social network is “doing to our children’s brains.” It was developed to be addictive, he said, describing Facebook as a “social-validation feedback loop” that exploited weaknesses in the human psyche. Now another…Continue Reading

Pro-life leaders pledge fidelity to Catholic faith, refuse to follow ‘erring pastors’

December 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 30 Catholic pro-life and pro-family leaders, representing 11 countries, have signed a Pledge of Fidelity to the Catholic, declaring their refusal to follow “erring pastors” in the Church today. The leaders announced the pledge…Continue Reading

Please Pray for Dr. Robert Hickson

Over the past couple of years, Maike Hickson has become a very important part of our work here. She has helped us greatly in our coverage of European stories, particularly in the German-language press. She has built relationships with other…Continue Reading

Archbishop Naumann: “If the Church is silent on the destruction of life, we’re being negligent”

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas was recently chosen by his brother bishops to lead the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee of Pro-Life Activities. The 68-year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri, was selected on November 14 by…Continue Reading

LA convent sale controversy ends in favor of archdiocese, Katy Perry

Los Angeles, Calif., Dec 6, 2017 / 12:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This week, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and singer Katy Perry were awarded a joint $10 million sum for punitive damages over a church-owned hilltop property which was illegally…Continue Reading


LA CROSSE, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, December 10. The Mass will be at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at 9:30 a.m. The date of the…Continue Reading

Newly revealed vision of St. Pope John Paul: Islam will invade Europe

Bienno, Italy, November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): A close friend of Saint John Paul II has affirmed that the late pope, revealed to have been a mystic, told him that Europe would be invaded by Islam. Speaking to a large group…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan, alumni ‘baffled’ over Notre Dame decision to offer birth control coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, November 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The University of Notre Dame’s recent about-face to provide birth control via its health coverage is baffling, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said. “We rejoiced when Notre Dame united with us in our expression…Continue Reading

Spain’s Catholic Church speaks out against Catalan independence drive

The head of the Catholic Church in Spain has criticised a declaration of independence approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament last month, calling it “serious and disturbing”, a spokesman said Monday. Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, the president of the Spanish bishops’…Continue Reading

Pope sends telegramme of condolence following terror attacks in Egypt

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegramme of condolence for Friday’s attack on a mosque in Egypt, saying he was “profoundly grieved to learn of the great loss of life caused by the terrorist attacks on Rawda mosque in North…Continue Reading

Can Catholic schools resist the new gender confusion?

Two months ago, parents at Sacred Heart girls’ school in Hammersmith received an unexpected letter. “In recognising Jesus as our teacher through the Gospels,” wrote headteacher Marian Doyle, “the first impulse for us as a Catholic school must be to…Continue Reading

‘Crucified cow’ on display at center of Catholic church, locals outraged Belgium , Catholic , Sacrilege

November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Local Catholics in a Belgian town are outraged as a cruciform cow has been erected as art at the center of a consecrated Catholic church. They are urging the local bishop to have it removed…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Apple, Google attend China internet conference that promotes control and censorship

December 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – CEOs from Google and Apple participated last week in China’s World Internet Conference, bringing what critics called “credibility” to an annual event used by the country’s Communist government to promote a more controlled and censored internet globally. Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook went as far as praising the Communist country during his keynote speech at the conference, saying that China’s vision of cyberspace as promoted by the conference “is a vision…Continue Reading

Pope Francis calls for Lord’s Prayer translation to be changed

Pope Francis has called for the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer to be changed as it implies God leads people into temptation. The line, which is traditionally translated into English as “And lead us not into temptation”, was recently changed in French to say “do not let us enter into temptation.” Currently, the Italian translation is

Archbishop: Politicians who say they’re pro-abortion and a good Catholic must be admonished

KANSAS CITY, Kansas, December 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Politicians who “flaunt” being Catholic while asserting that they are also pro-abortion are guilty of “misleading” other Catholics and must be admonished, said U.S. Archbishop Joseph Naumann in a recent interview. Naumann, who was elected last month by his brother bishops over Cardinal Blase Cupich to be the next head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts, said that openly pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians are “particularly problematic” for the bishops to…Continue Reading

Denmark aborted all but 4 babies diagnosed with Down syndrome last year

December 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Danish official is using the four children with Down syndrome who weren’t aborted in Denmark last year to argue that his country’s policy is not to kill everyone with an extra chromosome. Ireland may repeal its Eighth amendment, which protects the human right to life. Pro-life activist Liz McDermott pointed out to the committee on the Eighth Amendment in the House of the Oireachtas that Denmark has an extraordinarily…Continue Reading

Pope Francis urges Trump to respect ‘status quo’ in Jerusalem

Pope Francis has stated his “concern” over US president Donald Trump’s expected decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Pope said he “cannot keep silent” over the “situation that has arisen in recent days”, and called for respect for the “status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Un


Advent With The English Martyrs

By JAMES MONTI Recently I learned from an English Catholic gentleman that in late October the BBC began airing in England a new television series called Gunpowder dramatizing the historical events surrounding the “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605, a violent plot of a few Catholic extremists arising from the desperate situation of Catholics persecuted under England’s…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Supreme Court’s Overturning Of Bad Precedents: Don’t Hold Your Breath

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

By DONALD DeMARCO “I can resist anything but temptation,” quipped Oscar Wilde. His remark is really more humorous than cynical. But it does underscore a truth, namely, that there is some measure of difficulty for all of us in resisting temptation. Even the saints had to wrestle with temptation. “I am delighted with the law…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… Apostle Of The Immaculate Heart: The Life Of Lucia Dos Santos

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Part eleven, because of its length, will appear in two separate issues of The Wanderer.) + + +…Continue Reading

Tampa Change-Counseling Ban Faces Legal Challenge

TAMPA, Fla. — Liberty Counsel filed suit in federal court against the city of Tampa for its adoption of Ordinance 2017-47, which prohibits licensed counselors from providing and clients from receiving counseling to reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. The ordinance imposes significant monetary fines on counselors who provide such counseling.…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Is The Pope A Protestant?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: See also Steve Skojec’s report on page 1 of this week’s issue, particularly the quotations from Dr. John Joy on Magisterial authority.) You know the joke; you’ve probably used it yourself. Someone asks a question and to stress that the answer is a most emphatic “yes,” you respond: “Is the Pope a Catholic?”…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ…. The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Baptism

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What does Baptism do, anyway? Isn’t it just a ceremony? No, it is not. The first, primordial effect of Baptism is to give sanctifying grace, a participation in the Life of God Himself: the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul of the child or adult being baptized. It is never enough…Continue Reading

Marriage Under The Regime Of Sin

By DON FIER In beginning our consideration of the Sacrament of Marriage last week, it was immediately affirmed that “God Himself is the author of matrimony” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 48 § 1). Our Creator inaugurated this noble institution “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:4) when He formed Eve from Adam’s rib in the Garden of Eden on the sixth day…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: One of the most common arguments in favor of abortion is that it should be permitted in cases of rape. Not so, says Rebecca Kiessling, whose mother was raped. The founder and president of Save the 1, Kiessling, in a speech to an international pro-life conference in Peru in November 2017, offered the following reasons against this exception:…Continue Reading

Rejoice Always

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11 1 Thess. 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28 In the second reading today, St. Paul presents us with a huge challenge: Rejoice always. He follows this up by telling to us pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all circumstances because this is the will of God…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Miguel Pro

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929) was one more episode in the universal and eternal conflict between the Catholic Church and secularist governments. The seeds of the conflict were sown at the turn of the century, leading to the enactment of the Mexican constitution in 1917. Then it was enflamed when President Plutarco Elias Calles (president from…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Damasus I

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord gave us a very comforting promise in Matt. 16:18 when He said, “And I say to thee: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.” The Catholic Church has survived the intrigues of numerous antipopes. An antipope is a “false claimant…Continue Reading