Rain or shine, six facts you might not know about St Swithin

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On St Swithin’s Day, here are six facts you might not know about the saint who inspired an annual weather watch each July 15.

* St. Swithin was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in 800AD in the kingdom of Wessex and educated in its capital, Winchester.

* He had a keen interest in weather and therefore become the Patron of Weather.

* One miracle is attributed to Swithin while he was alive. An old lady’s eggs had been smashed by workmen building a church. Swithin picked the broken eggs up and, it is said, they miraculously became whole again.

* St Swithin was said to have built several churches and was known for humanity and his aid to the poor and needy.

* Legend says as the bishop lay on his death bed in 862AD, he is asked to be buried outside where his grave would be rained and trodden on. But nine years later, on July 15, monks moved his remains to a shrine inside the cathedral. On the day of the ceremony, there was a heavy rain storm.

* The incident gave rise to this prophecy:-

St. Swithin’s day if thou dost rain

For forty days it will remain

St. Swithin’s day if thou be fair

For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair.