Raised in an abbey. Priest. Chaplain to Egbert, King of the West Saxons. Tutor to prince Ethelwolf. Bishop of Winchester, England. Miracles associated with his relics. His shrine was destroyed during the Reformation. Almost 60 ancient British churches were named for him.
His patronage of the weather arose when monks tried to translate his body from an outdoor grave to a golden shrine in the Cathedral in 871. Swithun apparently did not approve as it started raining for 40 days. The weather on the festival of his translation indicates, according to an old rhyme, the weather for the next forty days:
Saint Swithun’s day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
Saint Swithun’s day, if thou be fair,
For forty days ’twill rain nae mair.
- 2 July 862 of natural causes
- relics transferred to Canterbury, England in 1006 by Saint Alphege of Winchester