Saint Edward, King and Martyr

March 18 is the Feast of Edward the Martyr and King (Old English: Eadweard; c. 962 – 18 March 978) was King of the English from 975 until he was murdered in 978.
During the sixteenth century and English Reformation, King Henry VIII led the dissolution of the monasteries and many holy places were demolished. Edward’s remains were hidden so as to avoid desecration.

In 1931, the relics were recovered by John Wilson-Claridge during an archaeological excavation near Shaftesbury Abbey in England. Wilson-Claridge’s family owned the site and they began years of painstaking negotiations with all of the major churches in order to find a suitable resting place for the remains. He imposed two conditions: that they were recognized as the relics of a saint, and that a shrine would be established for their reception. Eventually, he decided that the relics would go to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. His brother, however, wanted them to be returned to Shaftesbury Abbey. For decades, the relics were kept in a bank vault in Woking, Surrey because of the unresolved dispute about which of two churches should have them.
Edward church
In time, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was victorious and placed the relics in a church in Brookwood Cemetery in Woking, with the enshrinement ceremony occurring in September 1984. The St Edward Brotherhood of monks was organized there as well. The church is named St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church, and it is now under the jurisdiction of a traditionalist Greek Orthodox jurisdiction:
edward relics
In the Orthodox Church, St Edward is ranked as a Passion-bearer, a type of saint who accepts death out of love for Christ.


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