St. Edmund of Canterbury

November 16

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints

St. Edmund of Canterbury
St. Edmund of Canterbury

St. Edmund left his home at Abingdon, a boy of twelve 12 years old, to study at Oxford, and there protected himself against many grievous temptations by a vow of chastity, and by espousing himself to Mary for life. He was soon called to active public life, and as treasurer of the diocese of Salisbury showed such charity to the poor that the dean said he was rather the treasure than the treasurer of their church. In 1234 he was raised to the see of Canterbury, where he fearlessly defended the rights of Church and State against the avarice and greed of Henry III; but finding himself unable to force that monarch to relinquish the livings which he kept vacant for the benefit of the royal coffers, Edmund retired into exile sooner than appear to connive at so foul a wrong. After two years spent in solitude and prayer, he went to his reward, and the miracles wrought at his tomb at Pontigny were so numerous that he was canonized in 1246, within four years of his death.


The Saints were tempted even more than ourselves; but they stood where we fall, because they trusted to Mary, and not to themselves.

Character Calendar

After a brillient career at Oxford University, St. Edmund Rich went to Paris where he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity. As archbishop of Canterbury he fearlessly defended the rights of the church against Henry III. He was canonized four years after his death.

The Lord loved him and beautified him. He clothed him with a robe of glory. — Tierce, Short Responsory

The Imitation of Christ
Drink of the chalice of the Lord lovingly, if thou desirest to be his friend, and to have part with Him.
St Edmund was a very meek and patient man who seldom spoke unless he was spoken to. When the king encroached upon the rights of the Church and thought this very pliable man would be “broadminded” enough to make concessions for his royal highness, St. Edmund without a fear defended the rights of the Church regardless of the king’s surprise and indignation.
Some time in your life you may be called upon to help a “down and out” by telling a lie for him or in some way side-stepping your conscience to do him a favour. You will be asked because you are so level headed and broad about everything. What about it? What have you done in such cases previous to today?
Choose today whom you would rather serve.