The Viking invaders, the Danes, attacked England from the sea, conquered the city of Canterbury and captured the Archbishop.
The Viking invaders executed St. Aelfheah of Canterbury on this day in 1012. This saint was the Archbishop of Canterbury, which was the most prominent church function in England. The Viking invaders, the Danes, attacked England from the sea, conquered the city of Canterbury and captured the Archbishop. The city of Canterbury is located east of London, in the area of Kent, only about 10 kilometers from the sea.
The archbishop was held captive for about seven months. He refused to ransom his compatriots, and the Vikings executed him on this day. The execution was carried out in Greenwich – the village famous for the prime meridian. St. Aelfheah was the first Archbishop of Canterbury who died a violent death (the Archbishop of St. Thomas Becket later died a martyr’s death). Pope St. Gregory VII canonized Aelfheah of Canterbury in 1078.