Sunday, October 26, 2014

Let Us Keep the Feast - St Ælfred’s Day 2014

May the Lord bless all of you on this day of the South’s beloved patron saint, St Ælfred the Great, King of England (+899).

About our patron saint:

Alfred the Great Oct 26
849-899. King of Wessex and all Orthodox England who defeated the Danish invaders and ensured the growth of the Church in England. A patron of sacred learning, Alfred the Great himself translated into English such works as the Dialogues of St Gregory the Great. His memory is held by many in great veneration as a patriot and model of Orthodox kingship.

Source:, accessed 26 Oct. 2014

Though no official pronouncement has come from the Church, these are the reasons why we believe St Ælfred to be the South’s patron saint:

In praise of St Ælfred:

Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,
Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,
And Christian India, through her widespread clime,
In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares.


Ecclesiastical Sonnets, No XXVI, 'Alfred'.

Alfred the King, Alfred the Hero,
Alfred the Great, Alfred the Good,
Alfred the Wise, Alfred the Learned,
Alfred the Law-Giver, Alfred the Just,
Alfred the Merciful, Alfred the Truth-Teller,
Alfred the Father of his Land and of our Land,
Alfred the Defender,
Alfred the Father of the Navy,
Alfred the Founder of English Shire and English Town,
Alfred the Philosopher,
Alfred the Father of English Literature,
Alfred - England's Shepherd and England's Darling.

 . . .

As is inscribed on his statue in his birth-place of Wantage:

Alfred found learning dead, and he restored it.
Education neglected, and he revived it.
The laws powerless, and he gave them force.
The Church debased, and he raised it.
The land ravaged by a fearful enemy, from which he delivered it.
Alfred's name shall live as long as mankind respects the past.

Source:  Father Andrew Phillips, ‘From the Righteous: A Man for Our Time: King Alfred the Great (849-899)’, Orthodox England, 6.3 (1 March 2003),, accessed 26 Oct. 2014

O Holy St Ælfred, pray to God for us, thy sinful and wicked children at the South, that our souls may be saved!

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