St. Wendelin of Tholey, Confessor
(Wendolinus, Wendel)

21 October

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Died c. 607. Saint Wendelin's identity was nearly lost, although there were 17 towns in the U.S. in 1957 named after him. He was an Irish shepherd who became famous for his sanctity, when settled along the Rhein following a pilgrimage to Rome and began to evangelize the region. A later legend makes him an Irish hermit, whose cell became the Benedictine abbey of Tholey in the diocese of Treves (Trier), Germany. Or, is it a legend? The Diocese of Trier records that he was an Irish saint.

It is said that so many miracles occurred at his death that a church was built on the spot along the Nahe River to house his relics. The church still survives. The 1370 stone sarcophagus, which was first used as a table to hold the wooden shrine, and a representation of the saint from c. 1300 remain, still survive. (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick, Kenney, Montague).

In art, his emblem is sheep, a dog, and a club. Sometimes there is a staff, pouch, cup, and dog at his feet, at other times a long staff and a calf at his feet. He is the patron of shepherds and peasants. He is invoked on behalf of sick cattle (Roeder). The 14th-century image of Wendelin depicts him as an Irish monk with a staff and Gospel, rather than as a shepherd (D'Arcy).

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