Learn about St. Wendelin

Born in Scotland in 554, Wendelin was the son of King Forchado, according to information at www.electricscotland.com.

As he matured, Wendelin felt called to a life of prayer and penitence and left his family.

Wendelin went to Rome at age 20. Pope Benedict I encouraged him to serve God. Wendelin dressed and lived as a beggar and settled in remote Germany.

He eventually went to Trier and was hired by a nobleman to care for his livestock. The cattle and sheep thrived. Legend has it that God transported Wendelin’s flocks to distant grazing sites and back.

Once, Wendelin needed water for the animals, so he thrust his crook into the ground. Fresh water bubbled out and the staff grew into a tree. Once a year, the faithful walk in procession from the city to the spring.

Wendelin’s piety inspired his master to change his sinful ways. Wendelin left his herding life to return to the hermitage he left behind. When a contagious disease spread among farm animals in a neighboring village, the people sought Wendelin’s help. He prayed and cured the animals.

His reputation for holiness led to Wendelin’s election as the abbot for a monastery. During his time with the monks, Wendelin became a close friend of Archbishop Servius. He told Servius how he had left behind his royal heritage for a holy, simple life.

In 617, Wendelin died in the monastery. He was buried at the altar, but three times, the monks found his coffin unearthed. They discerned he wanted a different resting place.

They prepared an ox cart, placed the coffin on the wagon and allowed the oxen to wander away from the monastery. The animals stopped at the site of Wendelin’s hermitage. He was buried there and a chapel was constructed. Pilgrims flocked to the site, and miracles were reported.

A village, Sankt Wendel, grew up around the shrine, and a basilica now stands in Wendelin’s honor.

This year marks 1,400 years since his death.