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St Ethelwold (c. 908—984)

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'Birstan' can also refer to...


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Bishop of Winchester 931–4.

Although his feast occurs in calendars of the 11th century (Winchester) and of the 12th (West Country), the only information about this saint comes from William of Malmesbury. He stressed his personal daily service of the poor, his devotion to the dead evidenced by his frequent prayers for them in the cemetery (to which the departed souls once answered ‘Amen’), his assiduous private prayer, during which he died. His memory was neglected for some years but was revived by Ethelwold, following a vision in which it was claimed that Birstan enjoyed equal heavenly glory with the other Winchester saints Birinus and Swithun; therefore he should receive equal honour on earth. Feast: 4 November.

G.P., pp. 163–4;E.B.K. before 1100. s.d. 4 Nov.

Subjects: Christianity.

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