Saints of The English Year – St. Winwaloe

March 3rd

A somewhat obscure Breton saint of the sixth century; so obscure in fact, that even the spelling of his name is uncertain: Winwaloe, Winneral, Winnold and Winnal are just some of the variations. His cult was quite popular in medieval England, particularly in Cornwall and East Anglia, and his day was regularly listed in almanacs. But except for the few places where churches were dedicated to him, or fairs held on his day, any lasting fame rested on the fact that his feast came third in the widespread rhyme which predicts stormy weather in the first days of March:

First comes David, then comes Chad,

And then comes Winneral as though he was mad!

[©Steve Roud: The English Year. Penguin. 2006]

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