Saturday, 18 February 2012
Saint Oswin, King and Martyr of Deira, Northumbria
Castle Of Northumbria
Saint Oswin, King and Martyr of Northumbria (Died at Gilling, Yorkshire, England, on August 20, 651).
When his father, King Osric of Deira (roughly the county of Yorkshire), was killed by the pagan Welsh King Cadwallon in 633, he was taken to Wessex for safety, baptized, and educated there by Saint Aidan (f.d. August 31). When his cousin Saint Oswald (f.d. August 9) was killed in battle against King Penda of Mercia in 642, Oswin became king of Deira, which Oswald had united to Bernicia, and his cousin Oswy (Oswiu) became king of Bernicia.
Saint Bede (f.d. May 25) tells us that Oswin was "handsome in appearance and of great stature, pleasant in speech and courteous in manner. He was generous to high and low alike and soon won the affection of all by his kingly qualities of mind and body so that even men of very high birth came from nearly every province to his service. . . . and among his other qualities of virtue and moderation the greatest was humility."
Oswin had reigned successfully for about nine years, when Oswy declared war on him. Rather than precipitate a bloody battle when he realised that his army was vastly outnumbered, Oswin went into hiding with one trusted soldier at the estate of his best friend, Earl Hunwald, at Gilling near Richmond, York. Hunwald betrayed him and he was murdered at Gilling, Yorkshire, by Ethelwin on orders from Oswy.
Oswin, buried at Tynemouth, has been venerated as a martyr since his death, because he died, "if not for the faith of Christ, at least for the justice of Christ," as a 12th-century preacher explained.
In expiation for his crime, Oswy built a monastery at Gilling, but Oswin's relics remained at Tynemouth. Later the church was subject to the Viking raids and Oswin's tomb was forgotten until it was found in 1065. At that time the relics were translated. (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer).
The feast of his translation on March 11 is kept at Durham, Saint Albans, and Tynemouth.
Troparion of St Oswin tone 1
Courtesy and humility shone from thee,/ O radiant Martyr Oswin./ Trained
by Saint Aidan as a Christian ruler,/ thou didst illumine northern
Britain./ Glory to Him Who has strengthened thee; glory to Him Who has
crowned thee;/ glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.