On this day: St. Botolph

On this day, Roman Catholics, the Anglican Communion, and the Orthodox Church honor St. Botolph, the 7th-century abbot for whom Boston in Lincolnshire and Boston in Massachusetts are named.

Botolph and his brother Adulph were sent by their Saxon parents to the continent to study. They became Benedictines, and Botolph returned to England to found a monastery. "That Botolph really did build a monastery at Icanhoe is attested by an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 654: Botulf ongan thæt mynster timbrian æt Yceanho, i.e. Botulph began to build the minster at Icanhoe."

--from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

"Botolph died after a long life of Christian endeavour and teaching in 680. The monastery lived on for two centuries more but in 870AD was destroyed by Danish invaders. King Edgar (963–967AD) ordered that the remains of the saint be taken from the monastery ruins, and be divided into three parts: the head to be taken to Ely, the middle to be taken to Thorney, and the remainder to be taken to Westminster Abbey.
"The relics were brought to London through various towns and eventually through the four City gates of Aldersgate, Bishopsgate, Aldgate and Billingsgate. The churches at the entrances to these gates were named after him. The first three remain, but the one at Billingsgate was destroyed in the Great Fire (1666) and never rebuilt."

--from "Who Was St. Botolph?" by the Parish & Ward Church of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate.

"Boston doth exult on this holy day, * for thy deeds, O wise one, * are gone up as most fragrant myrrh * and sweet smelling incense * before the throne of Christ God, * O Botolph, our blest Father and teacher in all truth."

--from A Service to our Righteous Father Botolph of Boston, by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, Massachusetts.

Click here for images of St. Botolph and of some of the many churches named for him.

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