Menology of England and Wales – Saint Elstan, Bishop, Confessor, 981

main article for Saint Elstan of AbingdonArticle

At Abingdon, the deposition of Saint Elsant, Confessor and Bishop of Wilton.

Elstan, or Elfstan, was a monk of Abingdon, trained under the discipline of the Abbot Saint Ethelwold. While the building of the monastery was in progress, Elstan was charged by his Superior with the duty of seeing that the food of the workmen was duly provided. The holy man undertook this lowly office with great alacrity, and himself cooked the meat, washed the dishes, swept the kitchen floor, and managed all with the greatest neatness and good order. One day Saint Ethelwold chanced to find him engaged in this employment, and was surprised and edified to see him doing himself and alone duties which he supposed he would have committed to some servant of the house. In his admiration, he resolved to give him the occasion of still more meritorious and heroic obedience, and said to him: “Brother Elstan, this obedience you have stolen from me unawares; but if you are such a soldier as you seem to be, plunge your hand into the boiling cauldron, and draw me out a piece of meat”. The good disciple at once obeyed, the strength of his faith cooled the boiling water, and he drew back his hand unharmed. Saint Elstan was afterwards Abbot of the house in which he had so faithfully learned to practise obedience, and eventually became the fifth Bishop of the diocese of Wilton, and in the exercise of that sacred office piously resigned his soul to God.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Stanton. “Saint Elstan, Bishop, Confessor, 981”. Menology of England and Wales, 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 March 2019. Web. 30 November 2021. <>