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St. WillibrordWillibrord was born in 658 in Northumbria. When he was seven he was sent to a monastery governed by St. Wilfrid, where he remained for thirteen years until he traveled to Ireland to join St. Egbert and St. Wigbert to study in monastic schools.

He studied in Ireland for the next twelve years, receiving ordination and extensive missionary training. In 690, he set out with a dozen companions for Friesland, or Frisia, to evangelize.

In 693, he visited Rome to seek approval from Pope Sergius for his labors. Approval was granted and Willibrord was given relics to be used for the consecration of new churches.

In 695, Willibrord again visited the Eternal City, this time with a letter of recommendation from the Frankish leader Pepin of Heristal. Willibrord returned to Frisia a consecrated archbishop, built the Church of Our Savior in Utrecht and in the year 696, established his episcopal see there.

Some years later, Willibrord founded the monastery of Echternach in Luxembourg to serve as a center of missionary endeavors and extended the efforts of missionaries into Denmark and Upper Friesland. Daily he faced menacing dangers from outraged pagans, including one who nearly murdered him after he tore down a pagan idol.

In 714, the pagan Radbod reclaimed the extensive territories acquired by Pepin, and Willilbrord watched as all of the progress he had made become nearly undone. However, after Radbod's death, Willibrord began again with great enthusiasm, receiving invaluable assistance from St. Boniface (who spend three years in Friesland before going to Germany) and other colleagues, this time expanding into Holland, Zeeland and the Netherlands.

Willibrord died on retreat at the monastery of Echternach on November 7, 739 when he was eighty-one years old. For his apostolic efforts, he is called the Apostle of the Frisians.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 7, 2020

Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most f...

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July 7

 

Make it a practice to judge
persons and things
in the most favorable light
at all times and under all circumstances.

St. Vincent de Paul


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Palladius

As Ireland's first bishop, he preceded St. Patrick, and buil...

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St. Palladius

Though not much is known about St. Palladius, we first hear his name mentioned by St. Prosper of Aquitaine in his Chronicles as a deacon who insisted with Rome for help against the Pelagian heresy then rampant in Britain. In response, the Holy See sent St. Germanus of Auxerre to combat the heresy.

Around 430, Pope Celestine I consecrated Palladius a bishop, and sent him into Ireland as its first bishop, preceding St. Patrick. Though not too successful with the Irish, he built three churches in Leinster.

Leaving Ireland, Palladius sailed for Scotland where he preached among the Picts. He died at Fordum, near Aberdeen a short while after arriving.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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