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Monday, September 30, 2013

Godly Kings of the Past

Last Sunday was the feast of St Michael the Archangel, traditionally called Michaelmas.  In the secular, anti-religious society in which we live today, it is easy to forget the Catholic times in which our forefathers dwelt.

King Æthelred II of England reigned from 18th March 978 until 23rd April 1016.

 A Gold coin struck during Æthelred's reign shows the King wearing his armour.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in the year A.D. 1014, King Æthelred enacted the following law:

"That every Christian who is of age, fast three days on bread and water, and raw herbs before the feast of St Michael, and let every man go to Confession and to church barefoot. Let every priest with his people go in procession three days barefoot, and let everyone’s commons for three days be prepared without anything of flesh, as if they themselves were to eat it, both in meat and in drink, and let all this be distributed to the poor. Let every servant be excused labour these three days that he may better perform his fast or let him work what he will for himself. These be the three days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next before the feast of St Michael. If any servant break his fast let him make satisfaction with his hide (bodily stripes), let the poor free man pay thirty pence, the king’s thane 130 shillings; and let the money be divided to the poor."

King Æthelred II upon his throne.

If only the rulers of our times were so concerned for the things of God!


viterbo said...

What a decree - all directed towards the Love of God and for the sake of God, our neighbour; from a time when the law of Christ was the parliament - the talk - the word - of the rule of the king. 'Our world is hungering for the Word of the Truth...we are made for God, we are made in the image and likeness of God - a fundamental human truth...Catholicism offers salvation, it offers Heaven'. Christianity came to the British Isles as early as the 2nd Century. St Alban (d. 209) being the first Christian martyr of the Isles - put to death as a Christian convert who sheltered a priest. Lichfield (Lyke-field, meaning field of dead bodies) under Diocletian in 304 was the scene of as many as 1000 martyrs of Christ.

St Augustine 597AD sent by Pope Gregory the Great, converted King Æthelbert and Southern Britain with 'charity, with preaching, with miracles'.

'Works of art, architechture - robust Catholic faith, the Abbys, were great centres of learning, care for the poor and ailing'. Oxford and Cambridge were founded in the 'dark ages' under by the Catholic Church; the benificent influence of Catholic Britain is little appreciated, if even remembered. An informative and well presented DVD called 'Arise Once More' is a good source of the unremembered Britain:

Michelle Therese said...

This is amazing! I had never heard of anything like this before. What a deeply Christian world we used to have.

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