Saint SwithunSt. Swithun
) (died 2 July
) was an early English bishop
, now best known for the popular British proverb
that if it rains on St. Swithun's day, 15 July
, it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Swithun was buried out of doors, rather then in the cathdedral, apparently at his own request, so that the "sweet rain of heaven" could fall on his grave. In 971
it was decided to move his body to a new indoor shrine, and it is said that the ceremony was delayed by 40 days of torrential rain, a sign of Swithun's displeasure at the move.
St. Swithun was bishop of Winchester in 852. Therefore, there are strong links with churches throughout the south of England, especially in Hampshire. Swithun's most well known miracle was when he restored a basket of eggs on a bridge that workmen had maliciously broken.