Tuesday 21 April 2020

The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr - Goscelin of Saint-Bertin and Eric Sammons and Ryan Grant

The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr
Goscelin of Saint-Bertin
Ryan Grant (Translator)
Eric Sammons (Introduction)
Saragossa Press
ISBN 9780692818763
ASIN B0861N65S4


This is really two books in one. For in introduction by Eric Sammons makes up 40% of the volume. And though it is not a large book it is well worth the time and effort to read. I have encountered this saint a few times lately in reading about this saint. Both in a fictional retelling of his life, and in a book on Martyrs of England and Wales. Eric at the beginning of the introduction states:

“The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr tells the story of a young king of England killed under scandalous circumstances in the 10th century. The protagonist, St. Edward the Martyr, is an obscure figure today, often confused with St. Edward the Confessor, a more well-known English King and Saint who lived and reigned a century later, or with St. Edmund the Martyr, a King of East Anglia who lived and reigned a century earlier and was England’s original patron saint. Yet in the years following his death, devotion to St. Edward the Martyr was widespread in England, and many miracles were attributed to his intercession.”

He also informs us that:

“Even before ascending to the throne, Edward was known as a pious young man and was popular among the people. Once he became king, he was generous to the poor, promoted the Christian Faith, and supported Dunstan’s monastic reforms.

Unfortunately, soon after Edward’s accession, hopes that he would have a peaceful reign like his father Edgar were quickly dashed. Many prominent men, led by the nobleman Elfhere, coveted the lands controlled by the monasteries and attacked these Christian centers in order to endow themselves with more land and resources. The “white clergy”—those married clergymen who had been expelled from the monasteries previously—conspired to return to their old dwellings. At the same time, England was struck by a famine.”

We are informed that Edward is often remembered for his tragic death and the miracles that came afterwards. What this volume reminds us of is his life prior to that event. And the extensive cult around him after his death. A cult that survive the extensive persecution of Catholic in England.

This volume is the first translation into English from the original Latin. Ryan Grant has done a masterful job. The story comes to life. Once you start reading it you will not want to put it down. Sammons introduction sets us up setting the stage of the history and life and times of this saint.

This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. I have thoroughly enjoyed anything from Sammons I have read. And I know I will be tracking down other works translated by Grant. This is a volume I would recommend to any Catholic and believe they will be blessed by the reading of it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Eric Sammons:
Holiness for Everyone: The Practical Spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva
Who Is Jesus the Christ?: Unlocking the Mystery in the Gospel of Matthew
The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did
Be Watchful: Resist the Adversary, Firm in Your Faith
The Jesse Tree: An Advent Devotion
Bitcoin Basics: 101 Questions and Answers

The Profession

Contributed to:
Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue
The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr

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