Pictorial Lives of the Saints – Saint Wilfrid, Bishop

[Saint Wilfrid, Bishop]“A quick walker, expert at all good works, with never a sour face” – such was the great Saint Wilfrid, whose glory it was to secure the happy links which bound England to Rome. He was born about the year 634, and was trained by the Celtic monks at Lindisfarne in the peculiar rites and usages of the British Church. Yet even as a boy Wilfrid longed for perfect conformity in discipline, as in doctrine, with the Holy See, and at the first chance set off himself for Rome. On his return, he founded at Ripon a strictly Roman monastery, under the rule of Saint Benedict. In the year 664 he was elected Bishop of Lindisfarne, and five years later was transferred to the see of York. He had to combat the passions of wicked kings, the cowardice of worldly prelates, the errors of holy men. He was twice exiled and once imprisoned; yet the battle which he fought was won. He swept away the abuses of many years and a too national system, and substituted instead a vigorous Catholic discipline, modelled and dependent on Rome. He died October 12th, 709, and at his death was heard the sweet melody of the angels conducting his soul to Christ.

Reflection – To look towards Rome is an instinct planted in us for the preservation of the faith. Trust in the Vicar of Christ necessarily results from the reign of His love in our hearts.