Saint Walstan was the son of noble parents (relatives of the king) in Bawburgh, Norfolk, England. At the age of twelve, he forsook his family, wealth, title, and land for the love of Christ. He set off on a journey, gave away his rich clothes to beggars, and, not far from his home, hired himself out to a landed peasant for the most menial farm labor in the spirit of penance and humility. He lived a life of hard labor, strict asceticism, fasting, and prayer, and gave away his meager earnings to the poor. He labored thus for 28 years. While scything a hay field in May 1016, an angel visited him, and told him of his coming repose. He sought the village priest, who visited him in the field three days later. When St. Walstan partook of Holy Communion, a voice was heard from heaven, “Come from your labors and enter into eternal bliss.” He lay down in the field and fell asleep in the Lord. Three holy wells sprung up along the way as his holy relics were transported for burial (the well in Bawburgh still exists). His holy relics were destroyed by protestants during the English Reformation. He is a patron saint for farmers.
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