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Serving the King of Kings First

Gregory Johnson


Danes, Vikings

Vikings invading England
In the year 817 the Danes invaded England, and Ethelred, the King of England, having collected a small army, went to meet them. But trusting more on the protection of God than in the valor of his arms, he went to hear Mass.

While he was assisting at Mass, messengers came to tell him that the Danes were at hand and that he must prepare immediately for battle. But he answered that he would not go until he had received his Savior in Holy Communion. He stayed in church till Mass was over, and then went forth to attack his enemies.

After a short conflict he succeeded in putting them to flight.


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Sir Thomas More, Martyr and Chancellor of England, daily assisted at Mass with the greatest reverence and devotion.

One occasion, while hearing Mass, he was sent for by the King, apparently on urgent business, but he did not stir. Soon after a second messenger came, and after a while a third, with the express command to leave the church immediately and come to the royal chamber, where the King awaited him.

He replied: "I am now serving the Lord of lords, Whose service I must first perform."

Selected from Michael Muller, The Blessed Eucharist,
Rockford: TAN, 1994, pp. 242, 252
Posted October 23, 2010

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