The Catholic Church has thousands of canonized saints. Many are well-known: St. Patrick, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux are some of the most famous people who ever lived. But many more are obscure; perhaps they were only known in the region where they lived, or perhaps their following diminished over time. Yet even the most obscure saint is still a saint, meaning that he or she lived a life of heroic virtue or gave his or her life for Christ and his Church. As such, even the obscure saints are examples we can emulate.
St. Edward the Martyr is one such forgotten saint. His obscurity might seem odd, since he was one of the first Kings of England. Royal figures are usually the most famous people of their times and are prominent figures in history books. Yet, if his name is mentioned today, he is likely to be confused for one of two other saints: St. Edward the Confessor, a well-known English King who reigned a century later, or St. Edmund the Martyr, a King of East Anglia (modern day eastern England) who reigned a century before St. Edward the Martyr, and who was England’s original patron saint. Despite his obscurity, however, St. Edward the Martyr’s story is a fascinating and inspirational tale with lessons for today.