St. Dunstan

Saint Dunstan Stained Glass WindowSt. Dunstan is the patron saint for goldsmiths, locksmiths, jewelers, and armorers. His feast day is May 19. Born to nobility around Glastonbury, England, Dunstan was a product of Irish monk education and a stint at King Ahteltsan’s court around the 930s.

A period of great civil unrest due to royal succession battles gave way to peace after 959 and a restructuring of religious life. Pope John XII made Dunstan legate. Along with St. Ethelwold and St. Oswald, he restored monasteries demolished by the Danes during their incursions, dismissed rogue secular priests replacing them with monks.

Widespread reforms continued under the reign of King Edgar with Dunstan as his primary advisor for 16 years. Dunstan continued to influence succeeding kings. As he grew older, he retired from politics to a post at Canterbury teaching at Cathedral School. A revered musician, he composed hymns, illuminated manuscripts, and was skilled at metal-making.

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