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Saint of the Day - Saint Winebald

Saint Winebald is the nephew of my Confirmation Saint, Saint Boniface of Mainz (whose birth name was Winfrid and from whom we get the Christmas tree - I'll tell you that story ion June 5). Saint Winebald was born circa 702 and comes from an entrire family of saints including his parents, Saint Richard the King (or Richard the Piulgrim - being named Richard, I am particularly inclined to use king) and Saint Wunna of Wessex (possibly a sister of Saint Boniface), his briother, Saint Willebald (the biographer and companion of Saint Boniface), and his sister, Saint Walliburga, the Abbess.

Image located at used as being in the public domain.

Saint Winebald accompanied his father and his brother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. However, when their father died at Lucca (in northwestern Italy), where they buried him, the brothers proceeded to Rome. Willibald would proceed on to the Holy Land, being the first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land). Winebald stayed in Rome and studied. He stayed in Rome for seven years before returning to England around 730. However, he would soon return to Rome with a strong determination to enter the religious life, which he did at Monte Cassino prior to 737). He was in Rome in 737 and had taken vows as a Benedictine when his uncle, Boniface, arrived in Rome snd recruited him to travel to Germany to help convert the pagans there. It was to be Boniface's second misasion to Germany, the first failing before Pope Saint Gregory II changed his name from Winfried to Boniface (Bonifatius - one who does good). Winebald arrived in Germany around 739 where he was ordained to the priesthood. He worked hard to convert the pagans in Thuringia (central Germany) and Bayern (Bavaria, in southeastern Germany). After being ordained, he was charged with overseeing seven (7) different churches.

Saint Winebald was prone to illness and had, while in Rome, contracted either the Black Plague or malaria, the recovery from which caused him to stay in Rome and study for an extended period of time while his brother went on to the Holy Land.

While in Germany, Winebald founded a monstery at Schwanfeld, but subsequently moved it to Heidenheim in 742, establishing it as a double monastery - part for study and part for the training of priests. Winebald became the first abbott of this monastery, with his sister, Williburga, serving as the first Abbess.

In 742 or 743, Winnebald participated in the Concilium Germanicum (Council of Germany). The Concilium Germanicum was the first church synod in the Frankish Kingdom and was presided over by Winnebald's uncle, Boniface. Concilium Germanicum was shrouded in secrecy as to the location and, to history, even the exact timing of it.

Among the decisions reached at the Concilium Germanicum were:

  1. All archbishops and bishops had fixed sees in dioceses that were previously assigned to laymen by Charles Martel;

  2. Clergy were expected and required to annually appear before their bishop to give an account of their activities over the previous year;

  3. Bishops, with the aid of Auxillary Bishops, were expected to visit each parish in their diocese annually;

  4. Clergy were not allowed to carry weapons and were not allowed to hunt;

  5. On Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursdasy) of each year, the bishops were required to consecrate oil (chrism) to be distributed to the parishes in his diocese; and

  6. The Rule of Saint Benedict became mandatory in all monasteries in Germany.

Image of Saint Boniface found on and used as in the public domain

Boniface was martyred in 754 at Dokkum, Frisia (a territory overlapping northeastern Germany and northern Netherlands. Boniface's remains were returned to the Cathedral at Fulda, where he was interred in a sarcofagus there. The site instantly became (and remains today) a site of Christian pilgrimage (which I hope to visit sooner rather thasn later). In 761, Winnebald visited the shrine of his uncle at Fulda. He fell ill on the way home and died at Heidenheim. The date of his death was December 18, 761.

He was made a saint by popular acclamation rather than through the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints because it didn't exist until the twelfth century. He is venerated as a patron saint of construction workers.

As you can readily see, it was impossible to tell the story of Saint Winnebald without talking about Saint Boniface. As I discuss the other saints mentioned herein, I will try to link the pages for ease of reading. These six saints (Boniface, Willibald, Winebald, Richard, Wunna and Walliburga), like so many other saintly families (the Martin family cvomes to mind with Therese, Luis and Zelie already canonized and Leonie beatified) or saints whose lives crossed paths multiple times, like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, are inextricably intertwined.

Saint Andrew's Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in a stable, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, O my God, to hear our prayers and grant our desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

(Prayer copied from EWTN)

Join me at 3:30 p.m. Eastern for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to leafrn about St. Lucy and to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena at:

Here is a link to my interview with Lisa Marie Nicole from Sunday, December 10, 2023. I lovingly refer to Lisa as the Catholic version of Stryper:

If you want to listen top some great interviews, John Benko and I interviewed the original modern-day Catholic Defender, Steve Ray,, and we interviewed acclaimed Catholic musical artist Donna Cori Gibson at

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