Posted by: anna | August 25, 2010

St Merewenna and St Jambert

Today (12 August) we commemorate St Merewenna (Marwenne, Morwenna) of Marhamchurch. As celt-saints puts it, ‘There are many saints by this and similar names that are totally confused.’ Yorkthodox lists them separately, but this is probably the same as Morwenna of Morwenstow (5 July).
Today is also the feast day of St. Janbert (Jambert, Jænberht, Jænbert, Jaenberht, Jaenbert, Jaenberht, Jaenbeorht, Janibert, Janbriht, Jambert, Lambert, Lanbriht, or Genegberht), 13th archbishop of Canterbury (792). Baring-Gould‘s account is a political one:
Jambert was abbot of S. Augustine’s, at Canterbury, when chosen successor to Bregwin in that see. The time was that when Offa, King of Mercia, was striving to assert his supremacy throughout England. In the anarchy that had succeeded the death of Ethelbald, in 757, the kingdom of Mercia had shrunk to narrow bounds, and Kent, Essex, and East Anglia had thrown off her yoke, while the Welsh were rallying to fresh inroads over her western border. None of the Mercian losses were more felt than that of Kent, for through it ran the main line of communication with the ontinent. Kent, moreover, was the seat of an archbishopric, to which the entire Church in the Anglo-Saxon realms looked as head. Some years elapsed before Offa could attempt the recovery of Kent, and the Mercian king sought to withdraw the midlands from the supremacy of Canterbury. To effect this, he petitioned Pope Adrian to erect an archiepiscopal throne at Lichfield. Adrian consented, and sent the pall to Adulf, the first and only Archbishop of Lichfield and the kingdom of Mercia. This division took place about 786. But, in the meantime, by the battle of Oxford, in 775, Offa had recovered control over Kent. Nevertheless, he desired to have the whole of Mercia in independence of Canterbury. Jambert naturally resented this, and Offa seems to have disliked him accordingly. It was not till after the death of Jambert, in 790, that the division ceased, and the archbishopric of Lichfield came to an end. Offa died in 794.

ODNB (as Jaenberht)
Catholic Encyclopedia

Holy SS Merewenna and Jambert, pray to God for us.

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