Offa of Essex
Offa Of Essex, a pious and valiant Saxon prince, deserves a place here for his great devotion to Christianity. He flourished near the opening of the 8th century. He was a youth of great personal beauty, says Bede, and his pleasing manners made him most acceptable to the people, who looked forward with hopes to the time when he should be called to govern them. He was also honorably affianced to a princess of Mercia; but he left all the wealth and power and pleasure that courted him for Christ's sake and the Gospel's:
"He gave his honors to the world again, His better part to heaven."
We must confess, though a mistaken sense of duty ruled his choice, that it was no common power of religion which could take him at such an early age from all the advantages of birth and state, to live in a foreign land, in unknown society and an obscure position, and to give himself up to a life of prayer and fasting and almsgiving.