St. Winifred of Wales

St. Winifred of Wales Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 11/03

Patron Of: Incest Victims, Martyrs

Also known as

    * Guinevere of Wales
    * Guinevra of Wales
    * Gwenffrewi of Wales
    * Gwenfrewi of Wales
    * Wenefrida of Wales
    * Winefred of Wales
    * Winefride of Wales
    * Winfred of Wales


    * 3 November


    Daughter to Trevith, a member of the Welsh landed class and advisor to the king. Spiritual student of her maternal uncle Saint Beuno Gasulsych. Physically beautiful, she made a private vow of chastity, becoming a bride of Christ. Murdered when she rejected the amorous advances of a chieftain named Caradog of Hawarden; she had escaped from him, and was seeking shelter in a church when he caught and killed her. Legend says that where her head fell, a well sprang up which became a place of pilgrimage, and whose waters were reported to heal leprosy, skin diseases, and other ailments. Saint Beuno raised her back to life; he cursed Caradog who was promptly swallowed by the earth. Winifred became a nun, and later abbess at Cwytherin, Deubighshire, Wales.


    * c.600 at Holywell, Wales


    * beheaded in the early 7th century
    * c.655 of natural causes at Denbighshire, Wales
    * relics translated to Shrewsbury, England in 1138
    * shrine destroyed and relics scattered by order of King Henry VIII in 1540
    * remaining relics taken to Rome, but returned to England in 1852, and now housed at Holywell and Shrewsbury


    * Pre-Congregation

Name Meaning

    * friend of peace (Celtic / Gaelic)


    * Gwytherin, Wales
    * Holywell, Wales
    * incest victims
    * martyrs
    * Shrewsbury, England


    * abbess with a ring around her neck standing near the fountain
    * beheaded woman carrying her head and a martyr‘s palm
    * beheaded woman with a block, axe, and her head at her feet
    * carrying a sword and palm with a spring of water at her feet
    * Celtic maiden holding a sword with a fountain at her feet, and red ring around her neck where her head has been severed and restored
    * having her head restored by Saint Beuno

See Related Items

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


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