Celtic and Old English Saints          29 June

* St. Cocha of Ross-Benchuir
* St. Elwin of Lindsey
* St. Salome and St. Judith

St. Cocha, Abbess of Ross-Benchuir,
Who Nursed Saint Ciaran
6th century. Saint Cocha is said to have raised Saint Ciaran of Saighir
(f.d. March 5) and later to have become abbess of Ross-Benchuir

St. Elwin (Aethelwine) of Lindsey, Bishop
Died 692. This Saint Elwin may be the same person as Saint Ethelwin of
Lindsey (f.d. May 3), although the date given for the latter is 8th
century. Farmer states that today's Elwin studied in Ireland. He was
consecrated bishop of Lindsey in 680 by Saint Theodore the Greek of
Canterbury (f.d. September 19) at the request of King Ethelred of
Mercia. The venerable Saint Bede (f.d. May 25) calls him a 'vir
sanctus,' Elwin does not appear to have had an early cultus
(Benedictines, Farmer).

Ss. Salome and Judith, Virgins
9th century. Saints Judith and Salome are said to have been English
women of royal blood, perhaps close relatives. They were anchorites at
the monastery of Oberaltaich in Bavaria, Germany.

Although the tradition is late, it has been suggested that Salome is
Edburga, the beautiful, but rather shocking, daughter of King Offa of
Mercia. She mistakenly poisoned her husband, King Beorhtric of the West
Saxons, instead of an enemy. She was driven out of England for having
committed this outrage. The Emperor Charlemagne gave her a rich
monastery to govern, but he soon deposed her because of her scandalous

Thereafter she wandered about Europe with her maidservant begging for
alms at Pavia (Patavium), Italy, or Passau (Patavia), Germany. If Asser
made a mistake in his record and she was found in Passau, there is a
link between Edburga and Salome, because her biographer said that the
saint came to the monastery from Passau. Thus, the princess may have
repented by submitting to the penitential life of a hermit. Reputedly
Judith, her aunt, was sent to find her and joined her in the monastery.

Another version of the story expands on the above. It relates that only
the repentant Salome was an exiled Anglo-Saxon princess and that Judith
was a Bavarian widow who befriended her.

It is evident that the story is highly uncertain, though the saints are
real. Sometimes Judith is the princess, at other times Salome, and
still others both are of royal blood (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson,
Encyclopaedia, Farmer).


Attwater, D. (1958). A Dictionary of Saints. New York:
P. J. Kenedy & Sons. [Attwater 2]

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Green & Co.

Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints. (1966).
Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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