Saint for the Day - April 19 - St. Elphege
St. Elphege was born in
the year 954, of a noble Saxon family. He first
became a monk in the monastery of Deerhurst, near
Tewkesbury, England, and afterwards lived as a
hermit near Bath, where he founded a community under
the rule of St. Benedict, and became its first
abbot. At thirty years of age he was chosen Bishop
of Winchester, and twenty-two years later he became
Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011, when the Danes
landed in Kent and took the city of Canterbury,
putting all to fire and sword, St. Elphege was
captured and carried off in the expectation of a
He was unwilling that his ruined church and people
should be put to such expense, and was kept in a
loathsome prison at Greenwich for seven months.
While so confined some friends came and urged him to
lay a tax upon his tenants to raise the sum demanded
for his ransom. "What reward can I hope for," said
he, "if I spend upon myself what belongs to the
poor? Better give up to the poor what is ours, than
take from them the little which is their own." As he
still refused to give ransom, the enraged Danes fell
upon him in a fury, beat him with the blunt sides of
their weapons, and bruised him with stones until
one, whom the Saint had baptized shortly before, put
an end to his sufferings by the blow of an axe.
He died on Easter Saturday, April 19, 1012, his last
words being a prayer for his murderers. His body was
first buried in St. Paul's, London, but was
afterwards translated to Canterbury by King Canute.
A church dedicated to St. Elphege still stands upon
the place of his martyrdom at Greenwich.
Saint for the Day - St. Elphege
Read about the Saint for today - April 19 and spare a thought for family or friends who might suffering from ill health or are experiencing times of trouble.
Those who are in high positions
should consider themselves as
stewards rather than masters of
the wealth or power intrusted to
them for the benefit of the poor
and weak. St. Elphege died
rather than extort his ransom
from the poor tenants of the
Saint for the Day Website
We hope that you gain spiritual knowledge and inspiration reading about the saint for today - April 19. An online Catholic resource providing a short Reflection for the year ahead. Use these short, inspiring words to request guidance or assistance for yourself and for the sake of others.