The Bishop and the King

Once there was a king who ruled over a vast expanse of land. Now it so happened that he was having great difficulty keeping peace within his kingdom. The people were not happy, many had no work, and many more were hungry. 

The king’s council advised him to increase the numbers in his guard, saying, “It will give the strongest among them a place in the kingdom and in doing so will quiet any unrest.” 

But the King was wiser than his council and instead sent a messenger to a small island on the edge of the kingdom where a small community of monks lived, worked and prayed. The monks heeded the call of the King and sent the messenger back with a young Bishop named Aidan. When they were departing, the messenger offered Aidan a horse so they could hurry back to the King, but the Bishop refused him, preferring to travel the distance on foot, and stopping frequently to listen to the people he met on the road. 

Aidan was a man of true virtue and poverty of spirit. He taught the King mercy and humility, charity, and love of the poor. One Easter Day, the Bishop and the King sat down to a great feast set out on the King’s most prized silver dishes. But at the moment they raised their hands to bless the bread, one of the King’s officer’s burst into the room saying, “People are here from every corner of the Kingdom and they beg the King for alms.” 

Without a moment’s hesitation the King ordered the silver dishes to be broken into pieces and dispersed among the people. When Aidan saw what the King had done he immediately knew that it was time for him to return to his monastery. Prior to departing, he grasped the King by the right hand, looked him firmly in the eye and blessed him, saying, “May this hand never decay.”

T.S. Wilson

Once there was a king who ruled over a vast expanse of land. Now it so happened that he was having great difficulty keeping peace within his kingdom. The people were not happy, many had no work, and many more were hungry.  The king’s council advised him to increase the numbers in his guard, saying,…

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