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Monday, April 27, 2009

WFRL: Repent, Walpurgis!

Procol Harum
Repent, Walpurgis

Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) is a traditional religious holiday in large parts of Central and Northern Europe celebrated by pagans, satanists & Roman Catholics on April 30 or May 1

The current festival is in most countries celebrating it named after Saint Walpurga, born in Devon about 710. Due to her holy day falling on the same day, her name became associated with the celebrations. Walpurga was honored in the same way that Vikings had celebrated spring and as they spread throughout Europe, the two dates became mixed together and created the Walpurgis Night celebration. Early Christianity had a policy of 'Christianising' pagan festivals so it is perhaps no accident that St. Walpurga's day was set to May 1.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Saint Walpurga

(WALTPURDE, WALPURGIS; at Perche GAUBURGE; in other parts of France VAUBOURG, FALBOURG).

Born in Devonshire, about 710; died at Heidenheim, 25 Feb., 777. She is the patroness of Eichstadt, Oudenarde, Furnes, Antwerp, Gronigen, Weilburg, and Zutphen, and is invoked as special patroness against hydrophobia, and in storms, and also by sailors. She was the daughter of St. Richard, one of the under-kings of the West Saxons, and of Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, and had two brothers, St. Willibald and St. Winibald. St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then eleven years old, to the abbess of Wimborne.

In the claustral school and as a member of the community, she spent twenty-six years preparing for the great work she was to accomplish in Germany. The monastery was famous for holiness and austere discipline. There was a high standard at Wimborne, and the child was trained in solid learning, and in accomplishments suitable to her rank. Thanks to this she was later able to writeSt. Winibald's Life and an account in Latin of St. Willibald's travels in Palestine. She is thus looked upon by many as the first female author of England and Germany. Scarcely a year after her arrival, Walburga received tidings of her father's death at Lucca.

During this period St. Boniface was laying the foundations of the Church in Germany. He saw that for the most part scattered efforts would be futile, or would exert but a passing influence. He, therefore, determined to bring the whole country under an organized system. As he advanced in hisspiritual conquests he established monasteries which, like fortresses, should hold the conquered regions, and from whose watch-towers the light of faith and learning should radiate far and near.

Boniface was the first missionary to call women to his aid. In 748, in response to his appeal, Abbess Tetta sent over to Germany St. Lioba and St. Walburga, with many other nuns. They sailed with fair weather, but before long a terrible storm arose. Hereupon Walburga prayed, kneeling on the deck, and at once the sea became calm.

On landing, the sailors proclaimed the miracle they had witnessed, so that Walburga was everywhere received with joy and veneration.


Should God reward you
on your terms then,
when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
Tell me what you know.
~ Job 34:33

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