Saint Oswald of Northumbria
Saint Oswald was a King and a saint. Here's some interesting stories about him.
-One Easter he was about to dine with Saint Aidan. A crowd of poor came begging alms. Oswald gave them all the food and the wealth he carried on him, then had his silver table settings broken up and distributed.
Saint Aidan was so moved by the king's generosity that he grasped Oswald's right hand and exclaimed, "May this hand never perish!" For years after, the king was considered invincible. The hand has, indeed, survived, as it is enshrined as a relic in the Bamburgh church.
-Oswald's body was hacked to pieces on the battle field where he fell, and his head and arms stuck on poles in triumph. One arm taken to an ash tree by Oswald's pet raven. Where the arm fell to the ground, a holy well sprang up.
-Once a horseman was riding near Heavenfield. The horse developed a medical problem, fell to the ground, rolling around in pain. At one point it happened to roll over the spot where Oswald had died, and was immediately cured.
-The horseman told his story at a nearby inn. The people there took a paralysed girl to the same spot, and she was cured, too.
-People began to take earth from the spot to put into water for the sick to drink. So much earth was removed that it left a pit large enough for a man to stand in.
-Oswald's niece wanted to have the king buried at Bardney Abbey, Lincolnshire. The monks were reluctant as they were not on good terms with Northumbrian overlords. However, the coffin admitted a light at night. The monks considered it a sign, and allowed the burial.
-When the monks washed the bones prior to enshrinement, they poured the water onto the ground nearby. Local people soon learned that the ground had power to heal.
-A sick man who had led a dissolute life drank water which contained a chip of the stake on which Oswald's head had been spiked. The man was healed, reformed his life.
-A little boy was cured of a fever by sitting by Oswald's tomb at Bardney.
Pieces from the Heavenfield cross were claimed to have healing powers.
-Healing powers were claimed for moss that grew on the the cross.
-A plague in Sussex was stopped by Oswald's intercession.
Archbishop Willibrord recounted to Saint Wilfrid tales of miracles worked in Germany by Oswald's relics.