Alphege (954-1012), the Archbishop of Canterbury, gave his witness in the troubled time of the second wave of Scandinavian invasion and settlement in England. He served as a monk at Deerhurst, then as Abbot of Bath, then as Bishop of Winchester. He was instrumental in bringing the Norse King Olaf Tryggvason, only recently baptized, to King Aethelred in 994 to make his peace and to be confirmed.
In 1006, he was translated to Canterbury, and in 1011, he was taken hostage by the Danes. He refused to allow a personal ransom to be collected from his already over-burdened people. He was brutally murdered during a drunken feast, despite the Viking commander Thorkell’s effort to save him by offering all his possessions except his ship for the Archbishop’s life. He is regarded as a martyr because he would not ransom himself at the expense of his poor tenants.
Proverbs 14:31 (NKJV)
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker,
But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.
We thank You that Archbishop Alphege honored You in his life and in his death. May Bishop Justin Welby and the Church of England bring honor to Your name by their mercy to the poor. Amen.
Hat tip: SF