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Henry IIIThe Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258$
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David Carpenter

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300238358

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300238358.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 06 May 2021

The Piety of Henry III

The Piety of Henry III

Chapter:
(p.273) Chapter 6 The Piety of Henry III
Source:
Henry III
Author(s):

David Carpenter

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300238358.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the piety of Henry III. King Henry III was widely regarded by his contemporaries as a ‘rex Christianissimus’, ‘a most Christian king’. Everything known about his religious practices confirms that opinion. In some areas, notably the distribution of alms and the hearing of masses, he was doing what all his predecessors had done, but on a new scale and with a new intensity. In other areas, notably in his efforts to convert the Jews to Christianity and his adoption of Edward the Confessor as his patron saint, he was doing something very new. His devotion to the Confessor, in particular, became central to his life and led to the greatest monument of his kingship, the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey. One reason for Henry's piety was almost certainly his father's reputation for impiety. Henry also lived in a new spiritual environment, one created by the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council, the work of pastorally minded bishops, the preaching and example of the friars, and the ideas developed in the twelfth century about purgatory, confession, penance, and the eucharist.

Keywords:   Henry III, Christian king, religious practices, Edward the Confessor, Westminster Abbey, piety, Fourth Lateran Council

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