St. Charles the Good
Today we have a Danish saint! Charles was the son of St. Canute of Denmark (born 1083), but was raised in the court of his maternal grandfather, the Count of Flanders. He somehow ascended to the Dutchy, married a relative of the Duke of Clermont, and became a great reformer. He redrew laws to make them fairer, and provided for the support of the poor, as well as for their protection from the myriad profiteers of the day. He demonstrated his own immense personal piety by walking to Mass barefoot each day. He is commonly said to have gone on the Second Crusade with Louis VII, but this is impossible: Charles died 18 years before the Second Crusade was preached. It is entirely possible, however, that he did travel to the Holy Land and participate in general crusading activities. He was murdered in the Church of St. Donation in Bruges by agents of his wealthy political opponents. He died in 1127. He was popularly acclaimed "the Good" by contemporaries. Leo XIII approved his cultus and formally canonized him in 1883.
File Under: Saints