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Why am I looking at the sky?

July 15, 2012

Because today is St. Swithin’s Day. Here is some background.

Swithin was Bishop of Winchester in the 9th century.  Little is known of his life, although he was rumored to be humble and charitable.  He is best known these days because of this weather forecasting ditty:

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.’

He was said to have asked to be buried outside the cathedral where people would pass by his remains and the rain would fall on him.  One hundred years later, his relics were moved (translated) into a shrine in the new church.  Miracles were associated with this translation and Swithin was canonized.

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