On 26 October 899 A.D., the Patron Saint of the South, the Holy and Right-Believing King Ælfred (Alfred) the Great of England, reposed in the Lord. In preparation of his great and holy feast day on Saturday, 26 October, let us hear about his life and honor him for his achievements. This fourteen minute BBC radio broadcast is a fairly good overview:
Though, as might be expected, it takes a somewhat skeptical, secular view of his reign.
Also, there is rather a lot of praise for Charlemagne/the Carolingians. For a corrective to this, please have a look at what Father Andrew Phillips wrote not long ago in ‘Our Mission’:
It was under the Carolingian regime at the end of the eighth century that
Western Europe first began the long process of abandoning the Incarnation, that is, of abandoning Sacral Orthodox Christian Civilisation. In its place it would put the disincarnate dualism of iconoclastic clericalism on the one hand and the secularised State and society on the other hand. For by clericalising the Church, making it into less than the Church under the illusion of making it into more than the Church, a Super-Church, the State and the rest of society were gradually desacralised. The illusion of spiritualising the Church by imposing celibacy on the clergy meant disincarnating the Church from society, thus creating secularism.
As we have said, the first movement to desacralisation can be seen under the Carolingians. This took place through their rejection of the Holy Spirit’s incarnational role in sacralising the material world, that is, through the Carolingian Trinitarian filioque heresy and its resulting iconoclasm. Fortunately the Carolingian Empire collapsed and the part of
Western Europe subject to it remained in communion with the Church for another quarter of a millennium. Unfortunately, the Carolingian project was revived by Carolingian-descended, Germanic popes in the middle of the eleventh century and its next stage appeared as papism. And since then the desacralising apostasy has continued inexorably.
For the rest, please visit this site:
So listen to the broadcast with a grain of salt and take away what is good and true. Then, with a sober mind and contrite heart, let us cry out:
Holy Saint Alfred, pray to God for us sinners in the South,
The offspring of your people of
As you restored the Christian faith in your kingdom
After defeating the Viking invaders,
So deliver us from the enemies of the all-holy Trinity
And lay the foundation of holiness
In the midst of this our crooked and unworthy country,
Among your little children who have gone astray,
O Blessed Alfred, our ever-caring and watchful father,
By your holy prayers.