Portal:Christianity/Selected biography/5

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Illustration from The Little Lives of the Saints. London: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., 1904.

Ælfheah (954 – 19 April 1012; Old English: Ælfhēah, "elf-high"), officially remembered by the name Alphege within the Church, and sometimes called Alfege, was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester, later Archbishop of Canterbury. He became an anchorite before being elected abbot of Bath Abbey. His perceived piety and sanctity led to his promotion to the episcopate, and eventually to his becoming archbishop. Ælfheah furthered the cult of St Dunstan and also encouraged learning. He was captured by Viking raiders in 1011 and killed by them the following year, after refusing to allow himself to be ransomed. Ælfheah was canonized as a saint in 1078. Saint Thomas Becket, a later Archbishop of Canterbury, prayed to him just before his own slaying in Canterbury Cathedral.