St Edmund of Abingdon – Feast Day – November 16 2023

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St Edmund of Abingdon was also referred to as Edmund Rich, Edmund of Canterbury, or Edmund of Pontigny.

He was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1233 to 1240.

He was born on November 20 1175 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England, and died on November 16 1240 in Soisy-Bouy, Seine-et-Marne, France.

We celebrate his feast day on November 16 every year in the Catholic Church.

St Edmund of Abingdon Biography
Date of Birth November 20 1175
Place of Birth Abingdon, Berkshire, England
Profession Archbishop of Canterbury
Date of Death November 16 1240
Place of Death Soisy-Bouy, Seine-et-Marne, France
Feast Day November 16
Canonization By Pope Innocent IV in 1247
Patron Saint of
  • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth
  • St Edmund’s College, Cambridge
  • St Edmund Hall, Oxford
  • St Edmund’s College, Ware

St Edmund of Abingdon Life History

St. Edmund of Abingdon, originally known as Edmund Rich, was born on November 20, 1175, in Abingdon, Berkshire, England.

He was a distinguished scholar and a vocal archbishop of Canterbury, known for his virtuous and influential contributions to the English church. His life and literary works greatly impacted subsequent spiritual writers in England.

He received his education at Oxford, where he made a vow of perpetual chastity, and later in Paris. He lectured in Paris and Oxford from about 1194 to 1200, where he is believed to have been the first to teach Aristotle’s philosophy.

After further theological studies in Paris, he returned to Oxford, teaching there from around 1214 to 1222. He then became a canon of Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire in 1222.

His involvement in the Sixth Crusade in England in 1227, at the request of Pope Gregory IX, played a role in his appointment as the archbishop of Canterbury in 1233, with consecration on April 2, 1234.

As the Archbishop, Edmund found himself in conflict with King Henry III of England. He staunchly defended church rights and criticized the king’s continental policies.

Ultimately, the baronage supported Edmund against Henry, causing the threat of civil war. Using the threat of excommunication, Edmund compelled Henry to remove his wife’s ambitious French relatives and allies from England and to abandon their projects.

He also made the king promise to uphold English law, customs, and the counsel of his native magnates. In 1236, Henry requested the presence of Cardinal Otho as a legate, who arrived in the following year.

Otho’s presence weakened the archbishop’s authority. Henry sided with the monks of Canterbury in their opposition to Edmund’s influence, and Otho’s silence on the matter did not aid the archbishop.

Edmund, frustrated with the situation, protested before Henry and generally excommunicated all who had infringed upon the liberties of his primary see.

Edmund intended to appeal his case before the Curia in Rome and left for Rome. However, his deteriorating health forced him to halt at Soisy-Bouy, Seine-et-Marne, France, where he died.

He was buried at Pontigny Abbey. His admirers called for his immediate canonization, a request that Henry opposed until 1247.

Despite being thrust into the leadership of the English hierarchy during a crisis for which he was unprepared, Edmund’s pure motives and lofty ideals earned him widespread respect.

St. Edmund of Abingdon is the patron saint of

  • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth
  • St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge
  • St. Edmund Hall, Oxford
  • St. Edmund’s College, Ware

He is often depicted in art

  • Making a vow before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Embracing the Child Jesus
  • Placing a ring on the finger of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Receiving a lamb from the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • In the company of other saints such as St Richard of Chichester and St Thomas Becket.
St. Edmund Rich
St. Edmund Rich

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About Laban Thua Gachie 10721 Articles
The founder of is Laban Thua Gachie. I am a Commissioned Lector, a commissioned Liturgy Minister, and a Commissioned member of the Catholic Men Association. We at Catholic Daily Readings, operate the, a Catholic Church-related website and we pride ourself in providing you, on a daily basis the following; 1. Catholic Daily Mass Readings 2. Reflections on those Daily Readings 3. Daily prayers 4. Bible Verse of the Day 5. Saint of the Day