At Selby Abbey they don't know what happened to the finger of their Patron, St Germain, but they now have a special brew to keep the legend alive.
Born in 378, Germain was a French nobleman and soldier who became a Christian in 418 and went on to be Bishop of Auxerre. Following his death, his shrine in Auxerre Abbey became a place of pilgrimage. Some six hundred or so years later Monk Benedict experienced a vision there in which he received instructions from Saint Germain to travel to Selby and found an Abbey.
Legend has it that Monk Benedict stole the Saint's finger from his shrine at Auxerre, smuggling it away by cutting a hole in his arm in which he hid the dried finger. Monk Benedict arrived in Selby with the dried finger of Saint Germain to found Selby Abbey in 1069. Quite when Saint Germain’s dried finger disappeared from Selby Abbey (if indeed it has) is not known – perhaps at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the sixteenth century.
The Abbey commissioned a special brew, 'Germain's Finger', to mark its Medieval Day on the 16 August. The medieval-style mild dark beer is specially brewed by The Little Black Dog Beer Co. of Carlton and the first bottles are pictured here being sampled by (L to R) Canon Roy Matthews, Abbey Curate the Revd Neil Woodhall, Head Brewer Jordan Kot, Churchwarden Stewart Skilbeck, and Vicar of Selby Abbey Canon John Weetman.