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Saint of the Day – 9 January – Saint Waningus of Fécamp (Died c 688) Abbot

Saint of the Day – 9 January – Saint Waningus of Fécamp (Died c 688) Monk, Abbot, Count and Royal Official , husband and father of Saint Desiderius of Fontenelle.  widower. Born in Rouen, France and died in c 688 of natural causes. Also known as – Waningus of Ham, Vaneng, Waneng, Wanging, Waning, Wanning. Additional Memorials – 31 January (Normandy, France), 15 February (Rouen, France), 23 September (translation of relics).

Born in Rouen, Waningus was Governor of the Pays de Caux in Neustria., N ormandy, at which time he took great pleasure in hunting. Nevertheless, he was very pious and particularly devout to Saint Eulalia of Barcelona.

One night he dreamt that she reminded him of the difficulties the rich had in entering Heaven. He heard that holy Virgin and Martyr repeat to him those words of our blessed “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to be saved.

Soon after, around 648, Waningus withdrew from Court to assist St Wandrille in founding Fontenelle Abbey and in building the Churches of Saints Peter and Paul.

About ten years later, after recovering from a serious illness, Waningus founded the Church of the Holy Trinity and the adjoining Abbey of the Holy Trinity at Fécamp for nuns. under the direction of Saint Owen and Saint Waningus as Abbot. He sheltered Saint Leodegarius when he was being pursued by his enemies.

This Saint is titular Patron of several Churches in Aquitain and Normandy and has given his name to the village of Saint Vaneng. His body is possessed in a rich Shrine, in the abbatial Church of our Lady at Ham, in Picardy, belonging to the regular canons of Saint Augustine.

The Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Fécamp (see below) was honoured by the Dukes of Normandy above all their other Monasteries and is the richest and most magnificent Abbey in Normandy.

Waningus entrusted his son, St Desiderius (died c 700) to be educated by the Abbot of Fontenelle. Desiderius later became a Monk at the Abbey. His Feast Day is kept on 18 December; his Relics are at Ghent, Belgium.