St Oswald; St Romanus; St Hilary, Pope
by americancatholic.org | Source: americancatholic.org
The last acts in the life of today's saint make for
an amazing story. In truth, they merely underscore the holiness he exhibited throughout his
Born into a military
family in 10th-century England, Oswald was a nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, who raised him
and played a crucial role in his early education. Oswald continued his studies abroad in France,
where he became a Benedictine monk.
Following his appointment as bishop of Worcester, and later as archbishop of
York, he founded monasteries and introduced many reforms. He supported—and improved—scholarship at
the abbeys he established, inviting leading thinkers in such fields as mathematics and astronomy to
share their learnings.
He was widely known for his sanctity, especially his love for the poor. The final winter of
his life was spent at the cathedral in Worcester that he so loved. At the start of Lent in February
of the year 992, he resumed his usual practice of washing the feet of 12 poor men each day. On Leap
Year Day, February 29, he died after kissing the feet of the 12th man and giving a
The news of Oswald's death brought an outpouring of grief throughout the
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