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Patron Saint of Blacksmiths, Silversmiths, Goldsmiths, and all other Smiths

West Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury. A rip-roaring Saint who dared to nip the Devil's nose.

Educated at Glastonbury Abbey, he was sent to serve King Athelstan but was banished from court for practicing unlawful arts — such as a harp that could play itself.

However when Edmund inherited the throne, our hero was appointed Abbot of Glastonbury, and chose to practice metalwork.

He became immensely popular for his bravery and cunning against the Devil. Once when he saw the Devil peering at him through a window, offering temptations, he famously seized the nose of the fiend in a pair of red-hot pincers until the Devil begged for mercy.

Another time he was persuaded to repair a shoe of the Devil's horse, but instead hammered the nail into the Devil's own hoof. This gave the Devil so much anguish that even to this day he avoids houses with horseshoes attached to the front door.

Kings came and went but DUNSTAN ruled the holy side of things. He scourged King Edred for the good of his soul and dragged King Edwy to a banquet where he had not bothered to put in an appearance, being otherwise engaged with a woman.

Edwy went for revenge, accusing our Saint of squandering money. To which he received the reply 'Only God can tell me what to do with church money'. So Edwy banished him for impertinence instead.

But our hero went to Flanders where he started a whispering campaign favoring the King's brother Edgar for ruler. Then mighty voices were heard, and a statue of JESUS was seen to endorse this opinion.

Edwy eased the situation by dying and Edgar came to the throne. Our craftsman Saint celebrated by designing a four-cornered crown for him. Back in favor, he was given the reward of Canterbury.

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Article last updated on 19 April 2009
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on St Dunstan is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Worldwide Christianity
Gender : Male
Type : Saint or Sage
Celebration or Feast Day : May 19th
Birth and Death Dates : 924-988
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 103

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