King (ca. 658-689)
+ Caedwalla (or Cadwallador) was born in Wessex, England, and was the son of a local king named Coenberht.
+ In 685 or 868, Caedwalla became King of the West Saxons, bringing to an end the rule of a series of “underkings” in Wessex. His rule was marked by violence, particularly in his vicious attacks on the native population of the Isle of Wight, which he resettled with his own people. He also invaded Kent and may have ruled the region for a time.
+ In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People Saint Bede the Venerable relates that Caedwalla was greatly influenced by the bishop Saint Wilfrid, who became a spiritual guide for the king. He showed deference to the church and seems to have contributed to the building of monasteries and churches.
+ In 688, Caedwalla abdicated the throne and went on pilgrimage to Rome where he was baptized by Pope Sergius I on Holy Saturday, 689, receiving the Christian name “Peter.”
+ Saint Caedwalla died on April 20, 689, only a few days after his baptism still wearing, it is said, the white garments of his baptism.
For prayer and reflection
“Glory in his holy name; / rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!
Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.”—Psalm 105:3-4
O God, who gladden us year by year
with the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection,
that, by celebrating these present festivities,
we may merit through them to reach eternal joys.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for Wednesday of the Octave of Easter)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.