Saturday, January 19, 2008

St Wulfstan Millennium

We don't know his exact birth date, but the feast of St Wulfstan (aka Wulstan) is celebrated on the 19th January, the anniversary of his death in 1095. Born 1008 - 1,000 years ago this year. Some anecdotes here.

"Happy," he said, "is the man who grows sick of the attractions of the world: pleasure of them passes in a moment of time: the tooth of conscience gnaws as long as a man lives."

Of course that presupposes the existence of a conscience - as we see from the preceding posts, that is not always to be relied upon.

The source of the above is William of Malmesbury's biography - available now in reprint from the Llanerch Press - purveyors of ancient texts. I see they're reprinting the adventures of Twm Shon Catti - a likely lad of ancient days whose legends George Borrow noted in "Wild Wales".

Wulfstan was also an early anti-slavery campaigner at a time (post-Conquest) where poor, starving or disposessed Saxons were being shipped from Bristol to the Viking cities of Ireland as slaves.

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