St. Erconwald – April 30

Continuing the series on patron saints of our oblates.  Today is the feast day of St. Erconwald, patron of Michael Andrews, who also makes his oblation this day.  St. Erconwald, pray for Michael and for the St. Benet Biscop Chapter of St. John’s Oblates.

St. Bede’s History of the English Church and People, Book IV, Chapter 6

[In 675] Theodore [the archbishop of Canterbury] appointed Earconwald bishop of the East Saxons in the city of London, over whom at that time reigned Sebbi and Sighere … This Earconwald’s life and conversation, as well when he was bishop as before that time, is said to have been most holy, as is even now testified by heavenly miracles; for to this day, his horse-litter, in which he was wont to be carried when sick, is kept by his disciples, and continues to cure many of fevers and other ailments; and not only sick persons who are laid under that litter, or close by it, are cured; but the very splinters cut from it, when carried to the sick, are wont immediately to bring healing to them.

This man, before he was made bishop, had built two famous monasteries, the one for himself, and the other for his sister Ethelburg, and established them both in regular discipline of the best kind. That for himself was in the district of Sudergeona, by the river Thames, at a place called Cerotaesei [modern-day Chertsey], that is, the Island of Cerot; that for his sister in the province of the East Saxons, at a place called In Berecingum [modern-day Barking], wherein she might be a mother and nurse of women devoted to God. Being put into the government of that monastery, she showed herself in all respects worthy of her brother the bishop, by her own holy life and by her regular and pious care of those under her rule, as was also manifested by heavenly miracles.

[Further information:]  St. Erconwald succeeded Wini [Bishop of London and first Bishop of Winchester] in 675 and died about 693. He was canonized. It was in his house that the reconciliation between Theodore and Wilfrid took place. It is said that as a boy he had heard Mellitus preach in London. He was present at the West Saxon Witenagemot which enacted the “Dooms [Anglo-Saxon customs] of [King] Ine” and is spoken of as one of Ine’s bishops, Essex being probably subject to Wessex at that time.

[Image: St. Erconwald instructing monks. A historiated initial from the Chertsey Breviary.]

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