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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saint Dunstan, Bishop and Confessor

Saint Dunstan, Bishop and Confessor

This Dunstan was born of a noble family. He was expelled from the king’s court through the efforts of his enemies, whereupon he bade farewell to the world, and betook himself to Glastonbury. As there were then no monks there, he got together some, of whom he was made Abbot. He was a great favourite of the Kings Edmund and Edred, but was peculiarly obnoxious to Edwy, because he had the courage often to rebuke this King for his perverse doings, and feared not to oppose his wishes. In consequence of his line of conduct, the King took proceedings against him, from which he was obliged to abscond. And he went and lived abroad at Ghent, in Flanders. * In the reign of Edgar he was called home again, with great popular applause, and soon afterwards promoted to the Archbishoprick of Canterbury. He was excessively severe in using Church discipline, and never spared one who had erred. He ejected all the married clergy from their churches, and put monks in their places, and forced the King himself to do penance for seven years of sins which he had committed. * Dunstan’s strictness caused him to be regarded with fear by many, but all admired him as a Saint, so that he got among the lower classes the name of being a good archbishop. After the death of Kings Edgar and Edward, he put the crown of Etheldred, the next heir, to whom he is said to have foretold an unhappy reign, and no cessation from trouble.

He died full of days, and was buried in his own Church, towards the end of the tenth century. He is reckoned the patron of gold-and silver-smiths, and also musicians, in that he ever laboured much and well, even with his own hands, for ecclesiastical decencies in worship.

O God, who didst exalt blessed Dunstan thy Bishop to thy heavenly kingdom, grant, we beseech thee, that by his glorious merits we may attain to everlasting felicity, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

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