Charlemagne, Alfred, and Alcuin

January 28 is the feast of Bl. Charlemagne. Now, in addition to being the namesake of the Royal Martyr (whose day of murder is fast approaching), the great Emperor has two particularly significant connexions to the patrimony: 1) He was very much the inspiration of Bl. Alfred the Great; and 2) He was the employer of Bl. Alcuin. These three represent very well indeed both the interconnexion of Anglo-Saxon England with the Continent, and just much the various national “styles” of Catholicism, with all their manifold differences, nevertheless contribute to and owe each other. This unity-in-diversity, bound together by love, is a powerful statement to Catholics of whatever Rite to-day – if we will heed it.

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