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Saint Willibald Bishop

Reposed 787 Remembered July 7

St Willibald was born in Wessex. He was trained at a monastery at Waltham in Hampshire. In 722 he went on a pilgrimage to ther Holy Land with St Richard his father and St Winibald his brother. St Richard died in Lucca and St Willibald and his brother were miraculously cured of the black plague. On returning from the Holy Land he spent 10 years at the monastery of Monte Cassino one of St Benedict’s great foundations. When he met the Pope who, at the request of St Boniface, asked St Willibald to help with the missions to the Franks. He went to Eichstatt and was ordained priest by St Boniface. Not much later he was consecrated bishop in Thuringia. In 742 he founded the double monastery of Heidenheim and his brother St Winibald was made the first abbot. Following his death his sister St Walburga was made the first abbess.

St Willibald did not seem to have gone around proselytising and baptising in the traditional manner; yet he inspired and converted many. His shrine and relics are in Eichstatt Cathedral in Germany.

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