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St Wulfstan

A miraculous healer, church builder, and the Bishop of Worcester at the time of the Norman invasion.

Wulfstan was born in Warwickshire, and studied at the abbey at Evesham, before starting work as treasurer of the Benedictine Abbey at Worcester. He went on to become Prior and eventually Bishop.

He was Bishop of Worcester at the time of the Norman Conquest, and became a great church-builder, and was instrumental in the direction of the rebuilding of Worcester Cathedral.

Healer

He was known to have performed many miracles, which included the tale of a workman who fell 40 feet from the roof of the Cathedral. 

Wulstan, standing nearby, made a holy gesture as the man was tumbling, and instead of crashing to his death, the man stood up unhurt, blessing the Bishop.

Fort Royal in Worcester

View from Fort Royal in Worcester

He cured a monk named Eigelric, who lay dying from a fever and who desired the Bishop's absolution. 

Wulstan prayed at the monk's bedside and gave a blessing. 

Suddenly, "all the pains and weakness of the sufferer fled and health abounded to drive out the disease."

He cured Gunnilda, daughter of King Harold, whose eyesight had been attacked by a malignant tumour. 

Wulstan made the sign of the cross before her eyes and "straightaway she was able to… receive the light of day."

A shrewd politician and financier, he was the only Anglo-Saxon Bishop to keep his job after the Norman Conquest of 1066. 

When asked to resign by Archbishop Lanfranc, he gave up his Bishop's staff by pushing it into the actual stonework of the tomb of Edward the Confessor. 

No-one could remove it except Wulstan, and this miracle allowed him to keep his job.

Patron saint

St Wulstan is the Patron Saint of Vegetarians.  Having been distracted one day from his devotions by the smell of roast goose being prepared for his dinner, Wulstan immediately decided to give up all meat for the rest of his life.

Wulstan lived to a ripe old age and died in 1095 on 19 January, that date is recognised by the church as his feast day when his life, good works and miracles are remembered. 

Wulstan was canonised in 1203, and while the medieval hospital at The Commandery already existed, it was renamed in Wulstan's honour.

last updated: 15/01/2008 at 10:23
created: 15/01/2008

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