Bishop (d. 717)
+ Egwin was born into a noble family in Worcester, England, and was descended by the line of the kings of Mercia.
+ He became a monk as a young man and the local king, the clergy, and the common people all joined together in nominating him to serve as bishop of Evesham; Egwin was consecrated bishop in 693.
+ Although he was revered for his care for orphans and widows, he often came into conflict with the local people because of his efforts to impose Christian morals, especially marriage laws and clerical celibacy.
+ The situation became so tense that Egwin was forced to travel to Rome to seek the support of the pope.
+ After his return to England, he established Evesham Abbey and it was here that Egwin was interred following his death on December 30, 717. This monastery was considered one of the greatest monastic communities in Medieval England. The tomb and relics of Saint Egwin—as well as Evesham Abbey—were destroyed following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540.
For prayer and reflection
“When a profound silence covered all things
and night was in the middle of its course,
your all-powerful Word, O Lord,
bounded from heaven’s royal throne.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of December 30
On this day, the Church also remembers Saint Anysia of Salonika (in modern-day Greece). A pious woman who had dedicated her life to chastity, prayer and works of charity, she was martyred for her Christian faith on December 30, 304.
Almighty and eternal God, who gave your holy Church blessed Egwin 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.