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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3, Saint Winifred, Virgin and Martyr

Saint Winifred of Wales, Virgin and Martyr

Winifred was born of an important welsh family, and Saint Beuno was her mother’s brother. To whose instruction she listened eagerly, and with the consent of her parents consecrated her virginity to God. Whereupon Caradoc, son of King Alan, who was ready to die for love of her, sought in every way to shake her resolution. Now one day, when she was fleeing from his advances to take sanctuary in the Church which Saint Beuno had built, he overtook her, and as she refused his advances firmly, saying, “I am joined to my spouse Jesu Christ which preserveth and keepeth my virginity. And trust thou verily, that I will not forsake him for all thy menaces and threatenings,” he struck off her head with his sword. * And thereafter, through the ministry of her holy uncle, God wrought the miracle of replacing her head and raising her from the dead. For this reason she was reckoned a martyr. After this she lived fifteen years, and became Abbess of a nunnery in Denbighshire ; but in 1138 her relicks were translated to the Abbey of Shrewsbury. * In 1198, her feast was ordered to be kept throughout the province of Canterbury. And on the spot which is shewn as the place of this Virgin’s martyrdom, there is a spring, namely, Holywell of Welltown, or Tre Efynnon, in Wales. Which same is a place of pilgrimage, where people seek the grace of God through the intercession of holy Winifred.
St. Winifred
Almighty and everlasting God, who didst bestow on thy blessed Winifred the crown of virginity : grant, we pray thee, that by her intercession, we may be enabled to put behind us the delight of all things earthly, and to attain with her to the place of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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