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Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 15th, Translation of Saint Swithun, Bishop and Confessor

Translation of Saint Swithun, Bishop and Confessor

Swithun entered the monastery of Winchester, and became a priest therein. King Egbert of the West Saxons heard of his fame and gave his son Ethelwulf into his care ; and when this prince years afterwards succeeded to the kingdom, he nominated Swithun Bishop of Winchester, with the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his clergy. Thereafter, in his duty towards his See, Swithun left nothing undone which is the part of a faithful shepherd. * He shrank from all display and gaining of glory in the sight of men, and desired nothing more than that all the good which he did should be unknown save to God and to his own conscience. When he was dying, (to wit, on July 2nd, 862,) he expressed the wish that his body should be laid in the earth outside the church, under the open sky, that the feet of them that came thither might pass over him, and that the rain and the dew might fall upon him ; and his lowly wish was carried out. * Wherefrom hath spring the belief that because of his love of both sunshine and rain, God doth ever grant his request for either, whichever he preferreth for his feast day, and for forty days continuously thereafter. But when the new Cathedral Church of Winchester was built, the relicks of blessed Swithun were translated thereto, to wit, in 1093.


Almighty and everlasting God, who hast made this day honorable unto us by reason of the festival of blessed Swithun thy Confessor and Bishop : grant, we beseech thee, that thy Church may so rejoice in this solemnity, that e which on this day do honour him on earth may by his intercession obtain thy succour in heaven, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

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