Feast Day: January 19
St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark and was called Knud IV. He was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and a marvelous general. He married Adela, sister of Count Roberts of Flanders.
At the beginning of his reign, he led a war against the barbarians and his army defeated them. He loved the Christian faith so much that he introduced it to people who had never heard of Christianity. Through his kingdom, he spread the gospel, built churches and supported missionaries.
St. Canute knelt in church at the foot of the altar and offered his crown to the King of kings, Jesus. King Canute was very charitable and gentle with his people. He tried to help them with their problems. Most of all, he wanted to help them be true followers of Jesus.
But trouble started in his kingdom because of the laws he had made about supporting the Church and he fled to the Island of Fünen. Then one day some angry people went to the church of Saint Alban where Canute and some of his followers were praying. He knew they had come to harm him.
While his enemies were still outside, King Canute received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. He felt compassion for those who were upset enough to kill him. With all his heart he forgave his enemies.
Then, as he prayed, a spear was thrown through a window and he was killed. It was July 10, 1086.
St. Canute tried to be a good king so he could thank Jesus for all the blessings he had received. We, too, should thank God every day and offer him a crown made up of good deeds.
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