Posted by: anna | November 19, 2010

St Winoc of Wormhoudt

icon image from WSIP

Today (6 November) we commemorate St Winoc (Vinocus, Winnoc of Flanders, Winnoc of Wormhoudt, Winnoc of Wormhoult, Winnow, Winwalo, Winoc, Winocus, Wunnoc, Pinnock, Winnock, Gwynnog). From the Catholic Encyclopedia, for a change:

‘St. Winnoc, Abbot or Prior or Wormhoult, died 716 or 717. Three lives of this saint are extant: the best of these, the first life, was written by a monk of St. Bertin in the middle of the ninth century, or perhaps a century earlier. St. Winnoc is generally called a Breton, but the Bollandist de Smedt shows that he was more probably of British origin. He came to Flanders, to the Monastery of St. Sithiu, then ruled by St. Bertin, with three companions, and was soon afterwards sent to found at Wormhoult, a dependent cell or priory (not an abbey, as it is generally called). It is not known what rule, Columbanian or Benedictine, was followed at this time in the two monasteries. When enfeebled by old age, St. Winnoc is said to have received supernatural assistance in the task of grinding corn for his brethren and the poor; a monk who, out of curiosity, came to see how the old man did so much work, was struck blind, but healed by the saint’s intercession. Many other miracles followed his death, which occurred 6 November, 716 or 717. We only know the year from fourteenth-century tradition. The popularity of St. Winnoc’s cultus is attested by the frequent insertion of his name in liturgical documents and the numerous translations of his remains, which have been preserved at Bergues-St-Winnoc to the present day. His feast is kept on 6 November, that of his translation on 18 September; a third, the Exaltation of St. Winnoc, was formerly kept on 20 February.’
MLA citation. Webster, Douglas Raymund. “St. Winnoc.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 19 Nov. 2010
 Just to give an idea of how very boiled down these lives are from the available sources – and while Winoc is not one of the more obscure local saints about whom very little was probably ever recorded, he is not exactly in the big leagues of hagiography either – his entry in the Acta Sanctorum comes to 35,000 words – that’s over 60 pages in 10-point font. Those Bollandists are serious. Much of this is taken up with citations of sources, but there is still a lot of content.
Tropaire de saint Winoc, moine à Wormhoud (Flandres) (Natalice en 717 A.D.)
Saint Abbé Winoc, miraculeusement tu fus sauvé des ondes furieuses de la mer* par le Christ, notre Roi,* car la mer fut fendue pour toi et s’érigea comme un mur.* Captif de l’amour du Christ, tu reposas sur le fond* qui pour toi fut recréé dans un aimable paradis plein de fleurs odorantes.* Prie maintenant ton Maître pour nous qu’Il nous accorde la grâce du Salut.
Holy Father Winoc, thou wast miraculously saved from the angry waves of the Sea * by Christ, our King, * because the sea parted for you and rose up like a wall .* Prisoner of the love of Christ, you rest on the bed * which was recreated for you in a lovely paradise full of fragrant flowers .* Pray now to thy Master for us that He grant us the grace of salvation.
 Holy Father Winoc, pray to God for us.


  1. Holy St. Winoc, pray to God for us.
    What a beautiful troparion.

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