Edward the Confessor cures the blind woodcutter, Berkshire
Myths and legends abound about our monarchs: Alfred and the cakes , Canute and the tide, Charles I 's lopped head still talking. Edward the Confessor has a suitably holy tale attached to his life.
While staying at his favourite royal residence in Windsor (an earlier castle than the present one), Edward was talking to a crowd of commoners, many of whom had come seeking divine aid via this saintly king. Through the crowd pushed a blind woodcutter dressed in rags. He had suddenly been struck blind some time before.
The woodcutter had already toured the holiest sites in the region, seeking the intervention of saints whose relics were kept there. But no good had come of this sacred tour. He remained blind. The afflicted man reasoned that dead saints were not as powerful as living ones, so he asked Edward to intercede on his behalf.
The king prayed for help: "By our Lady! I shall be grateful if you through my means shall choose to take pity upon a wretched creature."
In an instant the woodcutter exclaimed that he could once again see. Edward's holy reputation was further enhanced.
This episode is said to be the origin in England at least of the "Touch for the King's Evil", the supposed ability of monarchs to cure scrofula, practised until the reign of Anne .
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