St. Walburg-Virgin and Abbess


St. Walburga Chapel inside St. Scholastica Chapel, Chicago, IL.-Credit Eric Allix Rogers

St. Walburg-Virgin and Abbess

Walburg, daughter of the holy King Richard of England, was a young nun of the eighth century. Her brothers, Wunibald and Willibald, were missionaries in Germany. They had responded to the appeal of St. Boniface, probably a relative of theirs, who was working to spread the Catholic faith in that country. To get the help and support needed, Boniface also appealed to women religious in England. Some thirty nuns responded, among them Walburg, who later, in 751, became the first abbess at Heidenheim, a

foundation made by her brother Willibald.


Her personal holiness and her dedicated ministry became very well known and people loved her. After her death on February 25, 779, her memory was revered. Her earthly remains are buried at what is now St. Walburg’s monastery in Eichstaat, Bavaria. St. Walburg’s feast is celebrated on February 25.


Oil of St. Walburg

Since 1042, during four months of each year, a tasteless, odorless, transparent oily fluid oozes in small drops from her bones. This phenomenon is considered miraculous since after careful investigation there seems no scientific explanation. Any chemical analysis has failed to identify this as a fluid previously known.


The oil is collected and kept available in small vials. Over the centuries people have

remembered the life and example of St. Walburg and asked her intercession as they seek God’s help, particularly in cases of serious injury or illness. Frequently those with physical needs obtain St. Walburg’s oil and use it as a tangible sign of their desire to unite their prayers and petitions with those of this saintly woman.


Today one of the works of the Sisters of St. Walburg’s Abbey remains the distribution of the ‘’holy oil” to those who have devotion to St. Walburg and wish to use it. The Sisters also provide teachers for a local junior school, staff their own kindergarten, operate a hostel, and engage in other ministries consistent with their contemplative lifestyle.


Some Suggested Prayers

*God, our Father, we trust you are with us always, sustaining us in those trials and

sufferings that come into. our lives. With confidence I stand before you, seeking your mercy, your grace, and your continued expression of power and love. Let me now experience St. Walburg’s intercession in my behalf as I approach you, along with her, seeking your healing touch. (Take time now to reflect on your need and to present it to God in your own words.) Grant that I may imitate St. Walburg’s life of dedicated service.

Let her petition, joined with mine, be heard and answered, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord and our Brother. Amen.


* St. Walburg, you were gifted during your lifetime with sensitivity and strength to be a loving consoler and a helper to many in need. Look on me in my present need. I come to you in confidence now and use the oil from your relics with sincere devotion.Do not cease to pray for me and with me as I await God’s favor to me, which he will bestow on me as he sees best. May l have an open heart .to receive whatever grace God gives me at this time. Amen.


*St. Walburg, I firmly believe that you look with compassionate love on all the sick and distressed who seek your help; you guide them to Jesus, so that they may experience his

healing. Lead me also to him for he is the divine Physician; through your intercession may God grant the favor for which I ask. (Take time to make your request in your own words.) St. Walburg, pray for me and with me, for all the sick, and all who are suffering in any way. Amen.


* Loving God, you are full of mercy and compassion toward those who call on you.

You do not turn away from those who come to you with confidence, nor do you ignore anyone who acknowledges dependence on your gracious love. Through St. Walburg’s

intercession, may we share in the richness of your unconditional love. May we always grow in our love for you as a tender Father; we ask this in the name of him who taught us to pray to you, Jesus,

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