The diverse English peoples became a nation first by their general adoption of Christianity and second by their resistance to the incursions of the Danes. The cult of St Edmund, King of East Anglia and original Patron of England, recognised both these sources of national identity. (An even better candidate would, of course, have been King Alfred, had the canonisation for which he was at one time a candidate run its full course.)
I certainly agree with Ms Doyle that our Saxon saints merit a lot more consideration than they usually receive.
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