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St. Walburga

Born: c.710

Died: 779

Canonized: pre-Congregation

Feast Day: February 25

Patron Saint of: famine

Also known as Walpurgis and Vaubourg.

Walburga, born in Devonshire and educated at Wimborne Abbey in Dorset and was highly skilled in medicine. The Benedictine monk, St. Boniface from Nursling Abbey near Southampton, was the inspiration of numerous mainland European missions which originated from England. One of those influenced by Saint Boniface was Saint Walburga; she and her brother Winebald both answered the mission call to help convert the Germans in the 8th Century. During her life, she was elected to the influential post of abbess of the double monastery (monks and nuns) of Heidenheim in Germany; that monestary was started by her brother Winebald but Saint Walburga wasn't elevated to that post until after Winebald's death.

She is invoked as a protectress of famine, possibly as a result of confusion of her name with 'Walborg', which translates to "Mother Earth".

Also of note was the fact that Saint Walburga's body was transferred from its original burial location to Eichstätt on a day of the calendar that was reserved for a local pagan feast. Unfortunately, Saint Walburga's name became associated with that day of witchraft even though there is no other connection between the future Saint and that pagan event.