Saints of The English Year – St. Wulfstan.


January 19th.

St. Wulfstan (c.1008-95), appointed Bishop of Worcester in 1062, was one of the leaders of the Anglo-Saxon church at the time of the Norman conquest, in 1066. Most unusually, he kept his position under the new Norman regime, and continued to serve until his death nearly 30 years later. He was buried in Worcester Cathedral, the rebuilding of which had been one of his favourite projects, and his fame was soon enhanced by news of the miraculous cures that took place at his tomb, leading to his canonisation in 1203.

Wulfstan was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, and King John thought enough of him to request to be buried between his and St. Oswald’s tomb, at Worcester; pilgrimages in his name persisted at least until the turn of the eighteenth century. His day is almost completely ignored today, apart from at Worcester, where he is remembered by a special memorial service every few years.


[©Steve Roud 2006: The English Year]

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