Saint of the Day – 25 February – St Walburga (c710 – died 777 or 779) Also known as:-Auboué, Avangour, Avongourg, Bugga, Falbourg, Gaubourg, Gauburge, Gaudurge, Gualbourg, Valborg, Valburg, Valpurge, Valpuri, Vaubouer, Vaubourg, Walbourg, Walburg, Walburge, Walpurd, Walpurga, Walpurgis, Waltpurde, Warpurg – Religious/Missionary – Patron against coughs,,against dog bites, against famine, against hydrophobia or rabies, against mad dogs, against plague, against storms, boatmen, mariners, sailors, waterman, farmers, harvests, Eichstätt, Germany, diocese of, Plymouth, England, diocese of 4 cities
St Walburga was English, the sister of two associates of St Boniface in evangelising Germany and the Lowlands. She was the daughter of St. Richard the Pilgrim, a West Saxon chieftain, and Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany. She had at least three siblings; two of her borthers are known by name, St. Willibald and St. Winibald.
In 720 her father and two older brothers went on a pilgrimage to Rome. Her father died at Lucca, Italy, but the brothers reached Rome where St. Winibald (c.701-761) became a monk, while St. Willibald (c.700-787) went on to the Holy Land.
Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother St. Winebald. At her brother’s death in 761, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her other brother St. Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remained superior of both men and women until her death on February 25, 779.
She was buried first at Heidenheim but her body was tranferred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. n the 870s, Walpurga’s remains were transferred to Eichstätt. In Finland, Sweden, and Bavaria, her feast day commemorates the transfer of her relics on May 1. At present the most famous of the oils of saints is the Oil of Saint Walburga (Walburgis oleum). It flows from the stone slab and the surrounding metal plate on which rest the relics of Saint Walburga in her church in Eichstädt in Bavaria. The fluid is caught in a silver cup, placed beneath the slab for that purpose, and is distributed among the faithful in small vials by the Sisters of Saint Benedict, to whom the church belongs. A chemical analysis has shown that the fluid contains nothing but the ingredients of water. Though the origin of the fluid is probably due to natural causes, the fact that it came in contact with the relics of the saint justifies the practice of using it as a remedy against diseases of the body and the soul. Mention of the oil of Saint Walburga is made as early as the ninth century by her biographer Wolfhard of Herrieden. – from the Catholic Encyclopedia article Oil of Saints