Bishop: d. 862
+ Swithin was born of noble English parents and was ordained a priest in Winchester. Later, desiring a life of contemplation and prayer, he became a monk.
+ After serving his community as prior, he was named bishop of Winchester in 852. He is especially remembered for his works of charity and for building new churches.
+ Saint Swithin died on July 2, 862, and was buried, as he had requested, in the common cemetery outside the cathedral.
The traditional date for the feast of Saint Swithin is July 15, the date of the translation of his relics. An early tradition stated that if it should rain on that day, “Saint Swithin’s Day,” it will rain for forty days after. His intercession is often sought in times of drought.
“Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God.”—Hebrews 6:7
Almighty and eternal God, who gave your holy Church blessed Swithin as Bishop, grant that what he taught when moved by the divine Spirit may always stay firm in our hearts; and as by your gift we embrace him as our patron, may we also have him as our defender to entreat your mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Bishop)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.