Branwalader was a martyr, and king Aethelstan brought his relics back from the continent. Not much else seems to be known, but that’s a lot more than was known about Saint Day, from yesterday, who seems to have been a Breton saint that showed up in Wales. He was apparently quite popular in the 700s and 800s, and then vanished abruptly. He’s probably bored, and that makes him a potentially useful saint to know, especially since he’s currently without portfolio…:
Saint Branwalader, dead in foreign lands,
a martyr to the cause of Christ’s good word:
you returned to England at Aethelstan’s
bidding, and attracted pilgrims who heard
you were quite skilled at miraculous deeds.
With ghoulish fervor, your corpse dismembered
they visited in stages to meet needs
like blindness cured and fair judgements rendered
in courts of law. Branwalader, listen
and intercede for me in courts above.
May the day when my cure appears hasten,
May judge find for me, may I find true love:
Petition God in your white martyr’s gown,
that heaven’s blessings to me may come down.
It’s a little ghoulish, but I think it rather captures the nature of this mysterious saint — already an unclear memory by the time Aethelstan brings his bones back to England from somewhere in France, and yet wildly popular nonetheless, and closely connected with the question of royal popularity. There may be more known about him than I was able to find in my short search, but it’s a brief flavor of what’s to come.