• Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum (270). Martyr. (Traditional)
  • St. Canute (1086). Martyr. (Traditional)
  • St. Wulstan (1095). Bishop. (Historical)

ST. CANUTUS, King of Denmark, was endowed with excellent qualities of both mind and body. It is hard to say whether he excelled more in courage, or in conduct and skill in war; but his singular piety eclipsed all his other endowments. He cleared the seas of pirates, and subdued several neighboring provinces which infested Denmark with their incursions. The Kingdom of Denmark was elective till the year 1660, and when the father of Canutus died, his eldest brother, Harold, was called to the throne. Harold died after reigning for two years, and Canutus was chosen to succeed him. He began his reign by a successful war against the troublesome, barbarous enemies of the state, and by planting the faith in the conquered provinces. Amid the glory of his victories, he humbly prostrated himself at the foot of the crucifix, laying there his diadem, and offering himself and his kingdom to the King of kings. After having provided for the peace and safety of his country, he married Eltha, daughter of Robert Earl of Flanders, who proved a spouse worthy of him. His next concern was to reform abuses at home. For this purpose he enacted severe but necessary laws for the strict administration of justice, and repressed the violence and tyranny of the great, without respect to persons. He countenanced and honored holy men, and granted many privileges and immunities to the clergy. His charity and tenderness towards his subjects made him study by all possible ways to make them a happy people. He showed a royal magnificence in building and adorning churches, and gave the crown which he wore, of exceeding great value, to a church in his capital and place of residence, where the kings of Denmark are yet buried. To the virtues which constitute a great king, Canutus added those which prove the great saint. A rebellion having sprung up in his kingdom, the king was surprised at church by the rebels. Perceiving his danger, he confessed his sins at the foot of the altar, and received holy communion.

Stretching out his arms before the altar, the saint fervently recommended his soul to his Creator; in this posture he was struck by a javelin, thrown through a window, and fell a victim for Christ’s sake.

REFLECTION: The soul of a man is endowed with many noble powers, and feels a keen joy in their exercise; but the keenest joy we are capable of feeling, consists in prostrating all our powers of mind and heart in humblest adoration before the majesty of God.


IMMORTALITY. Freedom from death or the capacity to decay and disintegrate. Absolute immortality is possessed by God alone, who has no body and whose spirit is eternal by essence. He cannot not exist; he always has been and must be. Natural immortality belongs to all spiritual beings, namely the angels and human souls, who are created indeed and therefore begin, but since they are simple by nature and have no parts, they will not die, although absolutely speaking, they could be annihilated by an act of God. Gratuitous immortality is a special grace, given originally by God to the ancestors of the human race and restored by Christ as a promise after the last day. It means freedom from bodily death and from separation of the soul from the human body.

Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)

There is a Christmastide Meditation As Well

This article, JANUARY 19, 2024 – ST. CANUTUS, KING, MARTYR. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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