SAINT Wulfram was Archbishop of Sens. There are two churches dedicated to him in England, at Grantham and Ovingdean, Sussex, and one at Abbeville, in the French département of Somme.
He is patron saint protecting against the dangers of the sea.
Wulfram was born in the diocese of Meaux, near Fontainebleau. He was the son of Fulbert, a knight in the court of Dagobert I, king of the Franks.
He took holy orders and was called to the court of Theodoric III (Thierry III) of Neustria. In 692, and elected Archbishop of Sens.
After three years he resigned in favour of Saint Amatus, whom he thought would be the better, and retired to a Benedictine abbey
Wulfram converted the son of King Radbod.
At the time, he custom was that people, including children, were sacrificed to the local gods having been selected by a form of lottery.
Having remonstrated with Radbod on the subject, Wulfram was told the king was powerless to change the custom but Wulfram was told he could save them if he could. The saint waded into the sea to rescue two children who had been tied to posts and left to drown as the tide rose.
Then there was the rescue of a man acalled Ovon, chosen to be sacrificed by hanging.
Wulfram begged King Radbod to stop the killing, but the people were outraged at the sacrilege proposed. In the end, they agreed that Wulfram’s God could have a chance to save Ovon’s life, and if he did, Wulfram and the God could have him.
Ovon was hanged, and left for a couple of hours, while Wulfram prayed. When the Frisians left Ovon for dead, the rope broke, Ovon fell – and was still alive.
Wulfram retired to Fontanelle, where he died in 703.
St Wulfram’s feast day is kept on 20th March.
He was buried in the abbey he was re-buried in 1058 at the collegiate church of Our Lady in Abbeville, which was re-dedicated in Wulfram’s name.
His arm was taken as a relic to Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire.
After the building at Crowland was damaged by fire, there was no longer a suitable place for keeping the relic, so it came to Grantham for safe-keeping.
For two or three hundred years, it was kept in the crypt chapel below the Lady Chapel, where the pilgrims helped to wear the hollow, now to be seen in stone step before the altar.
Later, towards 1350, the arm went to the specially added chapel above the north porch but during the long process of the English Reformation, this relic was lost.