Friday, April 19, 2013

Ælfeah of Canturbury, Archbishop, Martyr

Ælfeah of Canterbury (954-19 April 1012) was an Anglo Saxon monk well know for his piety and holiness of life. Born near Bath, he became a monk early on in life in Deerhurst.  He later moved to Bath and became an anchorite.  Because of his piety and austerity he was made Abbot of Bath Abbey.  He was elected Bishop in 984 and began work on an organ at the Cathedral (24  men to operate it and could be heard froma mile away).  He also expanded many of the city’s churches. 

Ælfeah was more than likely important in treaty negotiations with Olaf Tryggvason (a Viking raider) and confirmed him in the Christian faith.

Ælfeah was named Archbishop of Canterbury in 1006.  In 1011 Vikings attacked and sacked Canterbury, capturing the Archbishop among others in the process.    The Arbishop refused to allow a ransom to be collected from his people who were already suffering, and as a result was killed by the Vikings, his life finally being dispated by a blow from the brunt end of an axe.

Psalm 48:1-9
1 Samuel 24:7b-19
Philemon 1-9a
Luke 23:1-9

Collect:  :  Dear Lord, Aelfheah was not willing that his people suffer for him, and so gave his life for them and for you.  Grant that all our Bishops would seek first the kingdom and welfare of their people.  This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting.  Amen.  (red)


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