King St. Edward was one of the best loved of all the English kings. He lived in the eleventh century. Because of enemies in his own country, he had to live in Normandy, France, from the time he was ten until he was forty. However, when he came back to rule, all the people welcomed him with great joy.
St. Edward was a tall, well-built man, but he was never healthy. Still he was able to rule his country well and keep peace most of the time. This was because he trusted in God and held firm when necessary. King Edward went to daily Mass. He was a gentle, kind man who never spoke sternly. To poor people and foreigners, he showed special charity. He also helped monks in every way he could. It was his justice to everyone and his love for God's Church that made St. Edward so popular with the English people. They would cheer him as he rode out of the castle.
Although he was a king with great power, St. Edward showed his honesty by the way he kept his word-to God and to people. While he was still living in Normandy, he had made a promise to God. He said that if his family would see better times, he would go on a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb in Rome. After he was made king, he wanted to keep his vow. But the nobles knew that there would be no one to keep the peace among the warlike people in the land. So, although they admired his devotion, they did not want him to go. The whole matter was brought to the pope, St. Leo IX. He decided that the king could stay home. He said that King Edward was to give to the poor the money he would have spent on the trip. He also was to build or repair a monastery in honor of St. Peter. Obediently, the king carried out the pope's decision. He died in 1066 and was buried in the marvelous monastery he had rebuilt. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Alexander III in 1161.
This holy king tried throughout his life to use the gifts he had been given in order to help others. How do I use the gifts I have to do good?