Saint of the Day – 18 May – Blessed Burchard of Beinwil (Died c 1192) Priest, miracle-worker. Born in the early 12th century in Langemat, Muri, Switzerland and died on c 1192 in Beinwil, Switzerland of natural causes. Additional Memorials – Monday after Ascension Day (Beinwil, Switzerland), 27 June on some calendars, 20 August (pilgrimage date).
We have little information about Burchrd’s early life. He was educated at the Benedictine Monastery near his home village. He seems to have had some connection to the Kappel Monastery as he is mentioned in their records.
He was Ordained and then became the Parish Priest in Beinwil, Switzerland. He became known as a miracle worker manifested in his zealous and careful attention to the needs of both the physical and the spiritual well-being of his Parishioners, whom he served for decades.
Burchard raised a wild bird from a chick (an owl, crow or jackdaw; records vary) and taught it not only to speak, but to hold conversations with him. When his household fell into evil and dissolute ways while Burchard was away, the bird told the Priest what it had witnessed. The servants killed the bird and threw the carcass into a mine shaft near the vicarage. The dead bird returned to him and managed to explain what had happened and who had done it.
Burchard once travelled to the nearby village to Unterhorben to minister to a dying woman. He was met on the road by a messenger who told him that the woman had died and he need not continue. Father Burchard went on to the house anyway to pray at her deathbed. Miraculously she came back to life just long enough to receive the final Sacraments and blessings.
When Burchard died, he was buried in his Parish Church’s graveyard. In 1619, his tomb was opened and his relics wee moved during the construction of a Chapel on his grave site. Again in 1754, his relics were temporarily moved during the Chapel’s renovation until it was completed and they were returned in 1784. A miraculous spring is found near his tomb.