Edmund the Martyr

841 – circa 869

An English patriot-king, Edmund began life with a Saxon lineage and Christian upbringing. He may have been elected king of East Anglia as early as 855, when he was 14, and of Suffolk the following year. He ruled wisely and was regarded as a good man. The great Viking invasion of 866, led by Ingvar, reached his domain a few years later. Because of his faith, Edmund repeatedly rejected Ingvar’s attempts to have them rule jointly. Ingvar finally had him scourged, pierced with arrows and beheaded. Edmund is sometimes depicted in art with the wolf that allegedly guarded his head after his murder, and is the patron of wolves.

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' news and information service.

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