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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, 899.

In the Dark Ages, when much of Britain was yet un-Christianized and uncivilized, there arose among the West Saxons in Southern England a great king who was an example of piety and learning. Alfred the Great was wise and courageous and used his temporal power for the spiritual, intellectual, and economic advancement of his people.

In his youth, Alfred knew the terror of mortal illness, of invasion, and of the death of loved ones. In the savage warfare of his day he was brave, strong, and cunning. He was not a man unacquainted with grief and hardship or unfamiliar with the harsh realities of life. From the monks of Wessex and from his teachers in Rome, he learned a kinder and gentler way of life than most of his people had even been exposed to, although they were at least nominally Christian. When, in his maturity, he became the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings, he administered justice with insight and fairness, laying the foundation for much of the best in English law. He founded a palace school which was unequaled in Northern Europe.

He is well-remembered in stone at his capital city, Winchester, and well commemorated in modern leaders who truly seek the moral, physical, and intellectual betterment of their people.

Guide all the rulers of the nations, that they may rule with justice and equity. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O Sovereign Lord, you brought your servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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