“St Swithin’s day if thou be fair…”

Today is the Feast of St. Swithun, Bishop of Winchester (+862).  His bones in Winchester were the occasions of many cures, but his shrine was destroyed by Protestants.  He is celebrated today, 15 July, because this is the day his relics were translated in 971.  It seems that the saint was annoyed at being moved from a humble grave to a fancy shrine. A storm broke out, lasting for 40 days and nights.  Hence, he is associated with rain.

There is a rhyme:

St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain na mair.

Swithun is also associated with apples, hence a custom of bobbing for apples on his feast.

We need more children named Swithun.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Comment

  1. Simon_GNR says:

    Strange that apple bobbing should be associated with this feast day – apples won’t be ripe and ready for picking for a couple of months yet.
    It’s been hot and sunny all day today in England so we’ve got another 40 days of drought to contend with, it seems.
    When I was still an Anglican I attended a St. Swithun’s church for about three years. I’ve never come across a Catholic Church dedicated to him, however.

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