St. Edward reigned as king of England from 1042 to 1066. Biographers describe his natural gifts of patience, caution, and flexibility, which equipped him for effective governance. Edward defended the country from external enemies and protected his authority from his internal opponents. Thus, in 1066 he left his successor a country that was more peaceful, united, and stable that it was when he became king. Edward showed his holiness in his care for the poor and generosity to the church. He was also known for his miracles. For example, water in which he had washed his hands healed people of skin diseases and epilepsy. Edward was so popular that for a long time he was celebrated as a patron saint of England.