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Saint Winifred’s Well in Wales has been a place of pilgrimage for over a thousand years. Known as England’s Lourdes, the waters of Saint Winifred’s well brings spiritual and oftentimes striking physical healing with many historical accounts recorded down the centuries. The stones at the bottom of the well were said to glisten red in tribute to the history of its foundation.
Even during the time of fierce Protestant persecution of the Catholic Faith in the British Isles, when it was illegal to hear Mass, carry rosary beads or even light devotional candles, many recusant Catholics, and even future martyrs, undertook secret and dangerous pilgrimages to Saint Winifred’s Well. It was the site of great graces and still remains so today.
The well appeared when a young virgin Saint, Winifred, was beheaded by a Prince in pursuit of her virtue. Where her head landed, a miraculous well gushed forth. It was not the end of Saint Winifred though. Her holy uncle, Saint Beuno took up Saint Winifred’s severed head and placed it upon her shoulders. Saint Winifred’s life was restored and she continued to live, even undertaking pilgrimages and shining as an example of God’s powerful intercession. She bore a red scar around her neck until her natural death.
As difficult as some miracles in the lives of the Saints are to accept for the sceptical, and even the devout, in our times, it was not always so. The Protestant reformation saw a systematic destruction not only of Catholic churches, shrines, roods, statues, tabernacles, stained glass and sacred Mass vessels throughout England, but devotions, traditions and timeless beliefs, even in God’s intercession as to the impossible.
Saint Winifred of Wales is an important figure for Catholics and the world today. Her life stands out as an example of purity (she vowed her purity to Christ) and a challenging witness to the miraculous too.
Learn about the inspiring life, death and restoration of Saint Winifred and the founding of her miraculous well, which is still visited today, in this new film as seen on EWTN. Our film production style has been internationally praised for not only presenting information, details and facts but a prayerful and spiritual film experience.
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