Blue Skies o'er Blackminster

Our first visit today will be to the Church of Saint Philbert.  This saint is is the first Christian to bring that religion to this island.  He came in the 700's and established a monastery that quickly flourished.  The monks built dikes that expanded the arable land, making the island richer than it had ever dreamt of being.  It was the black robes of those monks that gave the island its current name.  Soon the wealth they created drew the attention of an active new population from the North.  The Viking invaders landed and pillaged the island.  The terrified monks took what to them was their greatest treasure and fled to the Continent.  That treasure was the body of their deceased leader Saint Philbert himself.  As the Vikings advanced, they fled further, stopping along the way and leaving relics (a saint's body parts) in churches that helped them as they fled.  Today Saint Philbert gives his name to a string of churches that hold his relics, from here deep in to Burgundy in eastern France.
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This page last updated on 6/3/2004 7:23:33 PM.