Happy Wet and Windy St Swithin's Day

The 15th July  is associated with the feast of St Swithin/Swithun

So who was St Swithin?

Correctly spelt St Swithun he was the Bishop of Winchester and died in 852.

He was said by all accounts to be a pious and frugal man who invited the poor to banquets and always carried out his ministrations on foot.
According to The Golden Book of Legend, if any church fell down or was in decay, St Swithin would amend it “at his own cost”.
His best known miracle took place on a bridge, when he was said to have restored a basket of eggs belonging to an old lady that had been broken by men working on the nearby church.The most interesting thing about St Swithin’s life in fact came after his death.
Because he believed himself unworthy to be buried in a church, he issued posthumous orders that his body be buried outside in a “vile” place where “it might be subject to the feet of passers-by and to the raindrops pouring from on high”.
So he was duly buried outside the west door of the Old Minster at Winchester.

Over one hundred years later, after he had been made the patron saint of Winchester, the monks decided that he should be moved to a more glamorous resting place within the cathedral:  and on 15th July 971 his body was interred in what had become the largest church in Europe.

As the monks tried to move him, it was said that the saint was so displeased there was a clap of thunder and a tremendous deluge of rain…
St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain 
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain no more
A Buckinghamshire variation has
If on St Swithun's day it really pours
You're better off to stay indoors.
The saint’s anger probably didn’t improve much when his body was later dismembered and distributed to various locations as relics: an arm in Peterborough Cathedral, and head in Canterbury Cathedral.

Science and St Swithin
According to the Met Office, when records were checked going back 55 years, it was discovered that (with the possible exceptions of 1985 and 1995) the weather on St Swithin’s Day was not necessarily replicated by the next forty.
Nevertheless, there are two possible weather patterns that occur in the middle of July, and some believe that these have formed the basis for the myth.
If the jet stream – a fast wind current that blows around the earth – lies North of the British Isles in July, then we’re in for some continental, high pressure weather; 
if the jet stream lies to the South however, Arctic currents usher in weather systems from the Atlantic.

Symbols of raindrops and apples are associated with Saint Swithin because there is another proverb that says that when rain falls on St Swithin’s Day, the saint is “christening the apples.”

To this day, apple growers ask for St Swithin’s blessing on July 15th and no apples are picked before that date, after which it is believed they will ripen fully
Oh dear, as I look out of  my window all I can see is grey  and rain filled skies and the weather forecast says to expect more of the same ...

Today, is also the feast of  St Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor, who was a good friend of Thomas Aquinas and was made the superior of the Franciscan Order in 1257.
He was so named (good fortune) because of his cure by Francis of Assisi after a childhood illness.
He was the leading figure in the ecumenical council at Lyons that set out to unite the Greek and Latin rites.

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