Saint Willibald of Eichstätt

Also known as

  • Willebald

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Born a prince, the son of Saint Richard the King. Brother of Saint Winnebald of Heidenheim and Saint Walburga. Related to Saint Boniface. He nearly died as an infant, leading his parents to pray for his life, vowing that he would be dedicated to God if he survived. Entered the Abbey of Waltham, Hampshire, England at age five. Educated by Egwald. Benedictine monk. Pilgrim to Rome, Italy in 722 with Saint Richard and Saint Winnebald; his father died on the way, and Willibald suffered from malaria while there.

Pilgrim to the Holy Lands in 724. He reached Jerusalem on 11 November 725, and is the first known Englishman in the Holy Land; the book of his travels, Hodoeporicon, is the first known English travelogue. Pilgrim to assorted holy sites throughout Europe. At one point he was arrested by Saracens at Emessa as a Christian spy, and imprisoned in Constantinople.

Willibald then spent ten years helping Saint Petronax restore the monastery of Monte Cassino; served there as sacristan, dean, and porter. In 740 he was sent by Pope Gregory III to help Saint Boniface evangelize the area that is modern Germany. Ordained on 22 July 741 by Saint Boniface, and consecrated as a missionary bishop by him on 21 October 741. Founded a missionary monastery in Eichstätt, Franconia (in modern Germany. Worked with Saint Sebaldus. First bishop of the diocese of Eichstätt. With Saint Winnebald, he founded the double monastery at Hiedenheim in 752.

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Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Willibald of Eichstätt“. Saints.SQPN.com. 19 January 2014. Web. 10 July 2014. <>