Τετάρτη, 7 Μαρτίου 2012

Όσιος GUTHMANN του STEYNING (7ος αί.)

 Υπό Βλαδιμήρου Moss

Our holy Father Cuthmann was born in about 680 either in Dorset or at Chidham near Chichester in Sussex . The South Saxons were the last Anglo-Saxon tribe to be converted from idolatry to the True Faith; and it may be that Cuthmann was one of the first babies to be baptized by the Apostle of the South Saxons , St. Wilfrid. Cuthmann early showed signs of holiness: when pasturing his father's sheep, he made a circle round them and forbade them in the name of Christ to step out of it while he said his prayers on a stone; and the beasts obey ed his word. After his departure it was said that many miracles and healings took place among those who touched this stone.
When his father died Cuthmann decided to take his invalid mother to find a new home in the east. He constructed a kind of wooden bed for her and with the aid of a rope slung over his shoulders wheeled her round with him wherever he went. At one point the rope broke. This caused amusement to some mowers in a nearby field but their laughter was soon dispelled by a heavy shower of rain which ruined their harvesting! Having replaced the rope with strands from the hedgerow, Cuthmann continued on his journey until his rope snapped again. He was so relieved that his mother sustained no injury that he decided to build a church at the place, which he learned was called Steyning - a Saxon word meaning "The People of the Stone".
Cuthmann found some helpers in his church building, but one day they were in difficulty when a main beam swung out of place threatening to destroy the structure. A traveller appeared and devised a remedy which proved effective. Cuthmann thanked the stranger and asked him who he was. He replied: "I am he in whose name you are building this church."
Not all the local people received the saint with kindness. When his oxen strayed, a local woman called Fippa impounded them and refused to return them to Cuthmann. So he took her two sons and yoked them to his cart in place of the oxen. Fippa came to curse Cuthmann, but he returned her curse and she was raised to the sky by a great gust of wind. As she fell the earth opened up and swallowed her.
In the middle of the eleventh century Cuthmann's wooden church was demolished and a cell of monks built in its place. After the Norman Conquest of 1066 the relics of the saint were removed to the Norman abbey of Fécamp.
St. Cuthmann is commemorated on February 8.
 
(Sources: “Vita S. Cuthmanni” in Codicis Gothani Appendix, Analecta Bollandiana, vol. LVIII, 1940, pp. 197-98; George Cockman, "Cuthman, Steyning and the Stone", 1983; David Farmer, "The Oxford Dictionary of Saints", Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1978, pp. 96-97).



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