Edward was unexpectedly raised to the throne of England at the age of forty years, twenty-seven of which he had passed in exile. On the throne, the virtues of his earlier years, simplicity, gentleness, lowliness, but above all his angelic purity, shone with new brightness. By a rare inspiration of God, though he married to content his nobles and people, he preserved perfect chastity in the wedded state. So little did he set his heart on riches, that thrice when he saw a servant robbing his treasury he let him escape, saying the poor fellow needed the gold more than he. He loved to stand at his palace-gate, speaking kindly to the poor beggars and lepers who crowded about him, and many of whom he healed of their diseases. The long wars had brought the kingdom to a sad state, but Edward's zeal and sanctity soon wrought a great change. His reign of twenty-four years was one of almost unbroken peace, the country grew prosperous, the ruined churches rose under his hand, the weak lived secure, and for ages afterwards men spoke with affection of the "laws of good St. Edward." The holy king had a great devotion to building and enriching churches. Westminster Abbey was his latest and noblest work. He died January 5, 1066.
Feast Day of Saint Edward the Confessor
The Feast Day of Saint Edward the Confessor is October 13. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.