31 May


Saint Wendel was born in the 7th century as a son of an Irish king. Pious from an early age, he renounced all earthly possessions and devoted himself to praying in solitude. His father, the king, became so angry with St Wendel’s devotion to reciting the entire Psalter that he threw him out.

Therefore St Wendel left Ireland as a pilgrim and eventually settled as a hermit in West Germany. The place is known as Sankt Wendel today, situated near the city of Trier. In addition to wearing a hair shirt as penance, Wendel imposed on himself other rigorous mortifications. He humbly earned his living by working as a swineherd on a nearby farm.

After his death, miracles were reported by people asking his prayers at his grave. The relics of St Wendel were transferred in 1360 by the archbishop of Trier. Both the body of St Wendel and the garment in which he had been buried were found to be in a good state of preservation. Pope Innocent VI consecrated the Basilika where he was given a new resting place. St Wendel is patron of swineherds, peasants and shepherds and protector of all people who tend to animals.

Pilgrimages to St Wendel’s grave in Germany for his feast day via (external link)


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