Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Feast Of Wulfstan

When William the Conqueror took England for the Normans in 1066, he replaced most of the native Saxon bishops with clergy from Normandy. An exception was Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, who had been a supporter of Saxon King Harold, but who submitted to William after Harold's death, and became one of the new king's most trusted advisers. A devout Benedictine monk, he is best remembered for his opposition to the Irish slave trade in western England. Interestingly, he was also a vegetarian, because the smell of cooking lamb once distracted him during the celebration of the Holy Communion.

He died on this day in the year 1095.

Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son led captivity captive and gave gifts to your people: Multiply among us faithful pastors, who, like thy holy bishop Wulfstan, will give courage to those who are oppressed and held in bondage; and bring us all, we pray, into the true freedom of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.