Feast of St. Birinus

"At that time, during the reign of Cynigils, the West Saxons, anciently known as the Gewissae, accepted the Faith of Christ through the preaching of Bishop Birinus. He had come to Britain at the direction of Pope Honorius [I, reigned A.D. 625-638], having promised in his presence that he would sow the seeds of our holy Faith in the most inland and remote regions of the English, where no other teacher had been before him. He was accordingly consecrated bishop by Asterius, Bishop of Genoa, at the Pope's command; but when he had reached Britain and entered the territory of the Gewissae, he found them completely heathen, and decided that it would be better to begin to preach the word of God among them rather than seek more distant converts. He therefore evangelized that province, and when he had instructed its king, he baptized him and his people. It happened at the time that the most holy and victorious Oswald was present, and greeted King Cynigils as he came from the font, and offered him an alliance most acceptable to God, taking him as his godson and his daughter as wife. The two kings gave Bishop Birinus the city of Dorcic [Dorchester] for his episcopal see, and there he built and dedicated several churches and brought many people to God by his holy labours. He also died and was buried there; and many years later, when Haeddi was bishop [c. A.D. 690], his body was translated to Venta [Winchester] and laid in the church of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."

--Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (731), bk. 3, chap. 7, trans. Leo Sherley-Price


Deus qui hodiernam diem beati Birini confessoris tui atque pontificis sacro transitu decorasti: concede propicius. ut cuius erudicione ueritatis tue luce perfundimur: eius intercessione eterne uite gaudia consequamur. Per.

--The Monastic Breviary of Hyde Abbey, Winchester: Mss. Rawlinson Liturg. e. 1*, and Gough Liturg. 8, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, edited with liturgical introduction, notes and indices by J.B.L. Tolhurst, F.S.A., F.R. Hist. S., Vol. IV Sanctorale (July to December), Henry Bradshaw Society 78 (London, 1939), fol. 396v.


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