Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19: St. Alphege


Born in England in 953, Alphege was first a monk, then a hermit, then abbot of an abbey, and eventually bishop of Winchester. For 20 years, he served the Church faithfully, living a modest lifestyle as he served the poor. King Aethelred sent Bishop Alphege to work out a peace treaty with the Danish chieftain Anlaf, who wanted to take over England. Alphege was so successful,  Anlaf converted to Christianity and promised to never invade England. Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury, but then another Danish chieftain captured him and asked for three thousand pounds in ransom. That would be about $3,000,000,000 in the U.S. today. Alphege refused to give the Danes one single penny. He believed that his life was worth nothing - Christ was worth everything. The Danish soldiers started throwing the bones of an ox they had just eaten at Alphege. Then somebody hit him with an ax and he was beaten to death. 


For many decades, people in Scandinavia celebrated St. Alphege's faith with a big feast on the day of his martyrdom. Here's an easy recipe for a Danish-style ox (or beef) stew that you can make for dinner tonight in honor of St. Alphege. 

Saint Alphege, pray for us!

More reading for parents: 

Catholic Online
Padre Mickey's Dance Party