Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 July – St Edgar the Peaceful (c 943-975)

Saint of the Day – 8 July – St Edgar the Peaceful (c 943-975) King of the English, faithful son and Defender of the Church, Protector and Founder of Monasteries and Churches, a fair and wise ruler., always with the support of St Dunstan and the Bishops. Born in 943 or 944 in Wessex, England and died on 8 July 975 in Winchester, Wessex, England of natural causes. Patronage – kings, widowers. Also known as – Eadgar the Peaceful, Edgar the Peaceable, Edgar I, Edgar of England.

Edgar was King of England from 959 until his death. He was the younger son of Edmund I and St Elgiva of Shaftesbury and came to the throne as a teenager, following the death of his older brother Eadwig. As King, Edgar further consolidated the political unity achieved by his predecessors, with his reign being noted for its relative stability. His most trusted advisor was St Dunstan (909-988,  who he recalled from exile and made Archbishop of Canterbury. The pinnacle of Edgar’s reign was his coronation at Bath in 973, which was organised by St Dunstan and forms the pattern for the current coronation ceremony in England. After his death he was succeeded by his son Edward.

One of Edgar’s first actions was to recall St Dunstan from exile and have him made Bishop of Worcester (and subsequently Bishop of London and later, Archbishop of Canterbury). St Dunstan remained Edgar’s advisor throughout his reign, by his advice and support, becoming the virtual Prime Minister. England underwent a religious revival during Edgar’s reign, with the spiritual and secular assistance of his friend, St Dunstan, as well as Archbishop Oswald of York and Bishop Aethelwold of Wincheste. Edgar founded Abbeys, encouraged the Benedictine Monks and their Rule and enacted penalties for nonpayment of tithes and Peter’s Pence, always encouraging faithful adherenceto the Pope.

Edgar was efficient and unusually tolerant of local customs; while he spent much time in military actions, his reign was a peaceful period for civilians. By the end of his reign, England was sufficiently unified, in that it was unlikely to regress back to a state of division among rival kingships. Indeed, an early eleventh century King Cnut the Great states in a letter to his subjects that “it is my will that all the nation, Ecclesiastical and lay, shall steadfastly observe Edgar’s laws, which all men have chosen and sworn at Oxford.

Edgar was crowned at Bath and along with his wife Ælfthryth was anointed, setting a precedent for a coronation of a Queen in England itself. Edgar’s Coronation did not happen until 973 (just two years before his death), in an imperial ceremony planned, not as the initiation but as the culmination of his reign. This service was devised, written and arranged by St Dunstan himself and celebrated with a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, forms the basis of the present-day British Coronation ceremony.

When Peaceful Edgar ruled the land
He had eight kings at his command;
How did he tame this royal band?
Ah, he was knowing!
These kings he did not subjugate
And make them draw his coach of state
Like Tamburlaine; he built an eight
And taught them rowing

The symbolic Coronation was an important step – other Kings of Britain came and gave their allegiance to Edgar shortly afterwards, at Chester. Six kings in Britain, including the King of Scots and the King of Strathclyde, pledged their faith that they would be the King’s liege-men on land and sea. Later chroniclers made the kings into eight, all plying the oars of Edgar’s state barge on the River Dee.

Edgar died on 8 July 975 at Winchester, Hampshire. He left behind Edward, who was probably his illegitimate son by Æthelflæd and Æthelred, the younger, the child of his wife Ælfthryth. He was succeeded by Edward. Edgar also had a possibly illegitimate daughter by Wulfthryth, who later became Abbess of Wilton. She was joined there by her daughter, Edith of Wilton, who lived there as a nun until her death. Both women were later regarded as Saints.

St Dunstan’s life here:



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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