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St. Alphege

Saint Alphege of Canterbury

Bishop & Martyr

Alphege was born in the mid-tenth century to a noble English family. At a very young age he renounced his family wealth and entered a monastery. He lived like a hermit in his cell for some time, until he was eventually made an abbot. In the year of Our Lord 984, he was consecrated Bishop of Winchester, where he built many churches and installed an organ in the cathedral that could be heard from over a mile away. It was said that there were no beggars in the diocese thanks to his charity. In 1006 he was made Archbishop of Canterbury. Just a few years later, the Danes raided England and besieged Canterbury. Alphege was encouraged to escape, but he refused to abandon his flock. The Danes sacked the city, massacring the population, and the archbishop was taken prisoner. Even as a captive, Alphege was able to convert many of the Danes by healing those that were sick. He refused to be ransomed, however, and eventually his captors, in a drunken rage, beat him, stoned him, and finally struck him in the head with an ax, on this day in the year of Our Lord 1012. St. Thomas Becket, another Archbishop of Canterbury, was praying for Alphege’s intercession just before his own murder in 1170.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 19th

THE birthday [into heaven] of St. Timon, one of the first seven deacons, who taught first at Berea. Afterwards while preaching the word of the Lord at Corinth, he was delivered to the flames by the Jews and the Greeks; but remaining uninjured, he ended his martyrdom by crucifixion.

At Melitine, in Armenia, the holy martyrs Hermogenes, Caius, Expeditus, Aristonicus, Rufus and Galatas, crowned on the same day.

At Collioure, in Spain, the holy martyr Vincent.

The same day, the holy martyrs Socrates and Denis, who were transpierced with lances.

At Jerusalem, St. Paphnutius, martyr.

At Canterbury, in England, St. Elphege, bishop and martyr.

At Antioch, in Pisidia, St. George, a bishop, who died in exile for the worship of sacred images.

At Rome, pope St. Leo IX, illustrious for his virtues and miracles.

In the monastery of Lobbes, St. Ursmar, bishop.

At Florence, St. Crescent, confessor, disciple of the blessed bishop Zenobius.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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