Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Oswald of Worcester (d. 992)

Saint Oswald of Worcester (d. 992)

Feast day: February 29

Saint Oswald was the nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop played a crucial role in Oswald’s early life, raising and educating him. Oswald decided to travel abroad to France to further his education.

While in France, he felt called to become a Benedictine monk. He was chosen as the bishop of Worcester and then the archbishop of York. As archbishop, Oswald instituted many helpful reforms and established several monasteries. He invited leading scholars in astronomy and mathematics to these monasteries to improve the intellectual lives of the monks.

Oswald had a deep love for the poor. When Lent began in 992, Oswald resumed his customary tradition of washing the feet of 12 poor men every day. On February 29, Saint Oswald passed on to his heavenly home after washing, blessing, and kissing the feet of the twelfth poor man on his final day. 

(Image in public domain-70)