He was one of the first Kings of England, a descendant of Alfred the Great. Taking the throne at the age of 13 after a contentious succession battle, Edward—son of King Edgar the Peaceful and brother of future King Ethelred the Unready—was crowned king by one of the great English Saints, St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury. Edward’s reign lasted only three years, and was filled with disputes both secular and sacred. Known today as “St. Edward the Martyr,” he is remembered less for his life than for his tragic death—and the many miracles that followed it.
“The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr” is an 11th century text detailing the murder of young Edward, who reigned 975–978. Written by the Benedictine monk Goscelin of Saint-Bertin, the Passion exalts the virtues of St. Edward the Martyr and recounts a few of the many miracles that occurred through his heavenly intercession. Translated here for the first time into English, this Latin text is both a historical and religious gem, displaying the medieval English mind and its devout Christian faith.
Included also is an introduction explaining the historical context of Edward’s life and the widespread devotion to this Saint that formed after his death.