Pat Shingleton: "A Blessing from the Bishop"
The Bishop of Winchester was a Benedictine monk who died on July 2, 862. As referenced in a previous column, upon his death, he requested to be buried outside so rain would fall on his grave. His request was not relayed to those in charge of funeral arrangements in the village of Winchester and he was entombed inside the cathedral. Reportedly, a lengthy drought immediately began. When the good Bishop was re-interned outside the drought ended and rain returned for 40 days. The tradition states that if it rains on July 15, St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for 40 days - applicable for England only. "St. Swithin's Day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain. St. Swithin's Day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mair