A Christian king of the southern part of Northumbria known as Deira, Oswin was ‘a man of handsome appearance and great stature, pleasant in speech and courteous’. He was a great friend of Bishop Aidan (see August 31st) and tried to give him a horse to speed him on his journeys. Aidan gave the horse away to the first beggar asking for alms! Oswin was not happy and chided Aidan, saying that he could have given a less important beast to the beggar. Aidan challenged him, asking if the foal of a mare were more important than a child of God. Realising that he was referring to the beggar, Oswin agreed and sought Aidan’s forgiveness.

Oswin was assassinated on the order of his cousin, King Oswy, who wanted to be king of all Northumbria. Aidan was heart-broken at his death, and in time Oswin came to be revered as a martyr. The sites of twelve monasteries, including Whitby, were given by Oswy, hoping to make reparation for the killing!

Teach me, Lord my God, the truth that all people are equal in Your sight, and give me the grace to treat them in that way. Make me steadfast in what is right, whatever the consequences may be for me. Amen.