Sunday, 15 July 2012

St Swithun

Today is St. Swithun's day. It has not rained on me all day. To be fair, I think we have already had 40 days of rain and more. 40 days of a little sunshine would be most welcome.

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mare

St Swithun was Bishop of Winchester in Saxon times, renowned for his philanthropy and for his dedication to building churches. Legend has it that on his deathbed St Swithun asked to buried outside, rather than in his cathedral. It was his wish that his body 'be subject to the feet of passers-by and to the raindrops pouring from on high. This last wish was granted 9 years after his death, when the monks of Winchester built him a shrine within the cathedral walls and moved his remains there. The legend states that during the ceremony that marked the removal of the bones, the heavens opened and there was a huge downpour, which gave rise to his famous saying. 

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