Died c. 617. Although little definite is known of him, he was among the most popular saints during the Middle Ages, especially in the Rhineland and Switzerland. According to a 14th-century legend he was born in Ireland about 554, the son of a Scottish king. During a pious pilgrimage he came to the area of Trier, Germany, where he lived for many years as a hermit and tended swine. The pilgrimages to his shrine gave origin to the town of St. Wendel in the Diocese of Trier. That he was abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Tholey, only a few miles from St. Wendel, is probably legendary. In popular cult and art he is variously pictured as a pilgrim, shepherd, monk, abbot, patron of peasants and herdsmen, and patron against pestilence.
Feast: Oct. 20, 21, 22, 23.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863—) 9:342–351. j.l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes, ed. by the Benedictines of Paris (Paris 1935–56) 10:744–745. a. selzer, Sankt Wendel (Saarbrücken 1936). a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige, 3:203–204 (Mettem 1933–38).
[o. l. kapsner]