Walburga, Saint

Walburga, Saint wôlbûrˈgə [key], d. c.779, English missionary in Germany; sister of St. Willibald. She went there to assist St. Boniface, settling at Heidenheim, near Eichstätt (NW of Ingolstadt), where another brother, Winnebald (or Wynbald), had an abbey. St. Walburga's convent became a principal center of civilization in Germany and an important shrine. Other forms of her name are Walpurgis, Walpurga, and Vaubourg. Feast: Feb. 25.

Walpurgisnacht, the traditional German witches' sabbath held in the Harz mountains, is named after her for unknown reasons. It is held on the eve of one of her feasts, May 1. There is a famous Walpurgisnacht scene in Goethe's Faust.

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