Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hilda of Whitby

Hilda (c.614-680) was the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby, venue for the Synod of Whitby.

Born into a noble family, her father was killed by poisoning when she was still an infant, so she was raised in King Edwin's court in Northumbria. She was baptised in 627 by Paulinus, together with the rest of the court, near the site of York Minster. At the age of 33, having spent some time at the court in East Anglia, she answered the call of Aidan and returned to Northumbria to become a nun. After a year Aidan appointed her as the second Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey, and in 657 she established a monastery in the Celtic style at Whitby. Following the synod that was held there, she agreed to follow the practices of the Roman church.


Almighty God,
by whose grace Hilda, kindled with the fire of your love,
became a burning and a shining light in the Church:
inflame us with the same spirit of discipline and love,
that we may ever walk before you as children of light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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