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Iwi


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(7th century),

Northumbrian monk and deacon. A disciple of Cuthbert at Lindisfarne who wished to follow the Irish ideal of ‘exile for Christ’, he took ship with some sailors for whatever their destination. This turned out to be Brittany, where he lived austerely as a hermit, accomplished miracles of healing, and died on 6 October.

About 250 years later, a group of wandering Breton clerics arrived at Wilton Abbey, carrying the relics of Iwi. They were met in solemn procession by the abbess, Wulftrudis, and left the relics on the altar of Edith. After enjoying the hospitality of the abbess, they found the reliquary was immovable. Their tears and cries, rending of clothes, and blows at the feretory were alike unavailing: they were quite unable to remove the relics. So the abbess gave them 2,000 solidi to console them for their loss. They then departed for Brittany, leaving the relics behind.

Iwi's feast was celebrated at Wilton, Winchester, Worcester, and elsewhere in SW. England. The date was 8 October, presumably commemorating the translation rather than the death of the saint.

N.L.A., ii. 91–2; A. Wilmart, ‘La légende de Ste Édith en prose et vers par le moine Goscelin’, Anal Boll., lvi (1938), esp. pp. 273–4; W. Smith; ‘Iwi of Wilton, a forgotten saint’, Anal. Boll. 117 (1999), 297–318.

Subjects: Christianity.


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