Pat Shingleton: "The Saint Swithin Story..."
The Bishop of Winchester was a Benedictine monk who died on this date, July 2, 862. Prior to his death he firmly requested that his burial ceremony and his interment be outside the confines of his church. The good Bishop desired to have rain falling on his grave. His request was not advanced to those in charge of his funeral arrangements in the village of Winchester. When he died he was entombed on July 15th, inside the cathedral instead of outside the cathedral. Historical records note that immediately after his death, a lengthy drought began. Realizing that a mistake had occurred, the Bishop's body was exhumed and re-buried in the Cathedral's grave-site. Once the services ended, the drought ended and rain returned for 40 days. So here's the gist of this tradition that is more applicable for England: If it rains on July 15, St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for 40 days or the actual saying: "St. Swithin's Day if it be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mair." Noted Baton Rouge poet, Padraig Shingleton, recently recited. "St. Swithin was accurate across the pond, but it surely won't help our soggy lawns." Pat's columns and related poems are available at www.PatShingleton.com.