Joe Kenney Sculpture Studio


St. Wulfstan of Worcester

Wulfstan (1008-1095) + Bishop and reformer, also called Wulstan and Wolstan.  Born at Long-Itch ington,
Warwickshire, England, he studied at the abbeys of Evesham and Peterborough, received ordination, and joined
the Benedictines at Worcester.  Wulfstan served as treasurer of the church at Worcester, was prior of the
monastery, and finally was named bishop of Worcester in 1062.  After overcoming initial doubts about his
ability to hold the office of bishop, he demonstrated such skill after the Norman Conquest that he was the lone
bishop to be kept in his post by William the Conqueror (r. l066-l087).  For the next three decades, Wulfstan
rebuilt his cathedral, cared for the poor, and struggled to alleviate the harsh decrees of the Normans upon the
vanquished Saxons.

Among his greatest achievements was his successful crusade against the Irish slave trade, the profits from
which helped to swell the royal exchequer.  Slaves in large numbers were brought from Ireland and sold in
Bristol and elsewhere.  Stirred by its inhumanity and encouraged by Blessed Lanfranc, Archbishop of
Canterbury, who also worked toward this end, he opposed it on Christian grounds and, after bold and fierce
denunciation, secured its abolition. For months on end he preached at the slave market in Bristol against the
inhumanity of selling the poor into slavery to repay a debt.  He was the first Englishman who helped to free the
slaves.

Wulfstan died while engaged in the daily ritual of washing the feet of a dozen poor men. He was canonized in
1203.  

Feast day: January 19.
Sculptue of St. Wulfstan - Click Here to See Images