Saint Edmund Rich of Canterbury

Saint Edmund Rich of Canterbury

Birth
Abingdon, Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire, England
Death 16 Nov 1240 (aged 64–65)
Soisy-Bouy, Departement de Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Burial Pontigny, Departement de l'Yonne, Bourgogne, France
Plot Baroque Reliquary Tomb Inside The Abbey Church.
Memorial ID 75140061 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Saint. Abingdon born Edmund Rich is known to have frequented both Oxford and the University of Paris, eventually teaching mathematics at Oxford itself, being also credited at times as being the very first to teach Aristotle at the same institute. This fact however has never been proven conclusively. Leaving Oxford in order to pursue his religious vocation, for twelve years he served as treasurer of Salisbury's cathedral, before being elected Archbishop of Canterbury in 1234, becoming thus, head of the English church. Soon finding himself often in conflict with King Henry III, with the archbishop insisting to the sovereign to cease showing favor to his foreign barons, Henry eventually brought in a papal legate sympathetic to himself, forcing Edmund to travel to Rome in order discuss the matter with Pope Gregory IX. Unsuccessful at the eternal city, he returned to England, only to leave anew in 1240, travelling this time to the Cistercian Abbey at Pontigny in France, which had sheltered two of his predecessors: Stephen Langton and Thomas Becket. Passing away eventually at nearby Soisy at the house of the Augustinian Canons on November 16 of that same year, his body was returned to Pontigny where it was interred and remains housed to this day. With miracles soon worked on his burial site, he was canonized in late 1246. Shortly afterwards, his tomb was opened in the presence of Queen Blanche and King Louis of France and at that point, no signs of decay or corruption were noted on his body. With his body being placed eventually in a precious reliquary that fortunately survived the French Revolution, the subsequent sale of the abbey once again had likewise no effect on the relics. With a group of missionary priests eventually settled around the ruins of the once Cistercian Abbey, adopting the name of Society of the Fathers and Brothers of Saint Edmund, with Saint Edmund considered as their patron, the friars became responsible of the abbey church and the saint's remains. An exhumation of the latter in 1849 found Rich's body in good state of preservation. One of his arms, found detached from the rest of the body, would be eventually sent over to the United States of America, where it remains enshrined to date inside the chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption at St. Edmund's Retreat on Enders Island off the coast of Mystic, Connecticut, run by the same Society of Saint Edmund. The Pontigny Abbey has since changed hands again, being sold in 1954 to the Mission de France.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 18 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75140061
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Saint Edmund Rich of Canterbury (1175–16 Nov 1240), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75140061, citing Abbey of Pontigny, Pontigny, Departement de l'Yonne, Bourgogne, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .