Collect: O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; be ready, we beseech thee, to hear the devout prayers of thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday, November 7: Willibrord
Born around 668 in Yorkshire, at six years old, Willibrord was placed in the care of Saint Wilfrid, abbot of the Monastery of Ripon, to be raised as a Benedictine monk. After studying at the renowned schools of Ireland for 12 years, when he was around 30, Willibrord obtained permission to serve as a missionary in Frisia (present-day Holland). The duke of Frisia, Pepin of Herstal was already a Christian and welcomed Willibrord and his companions. After around six years, most of Pepin’s subjects had converted to Christ. At that time, Willibrord was summoned to Pope Sergius in Rome, who changed his religious name to “Clement” and ordained him Archbishop of Frisia. He founded many churches, for he was committed not just to a conversion moment but to a rigorous catechesis before baptism for all of his converts. In the year 739, he peacefully died on this day and was buried in the Echternach monastery that he founded.
Alcuin describes Willibrord (you can read his Life of Willibrord here):
“Now this holy man was distinguished by every kind of natural quality: he was of middle height, dignified mien, comely of face, cheerful in spirit, wise in counsel, pleasing in speech, grave in character and energetic in everything he undertook for God. His forbearance is shown by the actions we have recorded above. How great was his zeal in preaching the Gospel of Christ and how he was sustained in the labour of preaching by the grace of God we need not set forth in writing, since it is vouched for by the testimony of all. His personal life can be inferred from his vigils and prayers, his fasting and singing of psalms, the holiness of his conduct and his many miracles. His charity is made manifest in the unremitting labours which he bore daily for the name of Christ.”
- Now that All Saints’ is over, we’re going to start setting our eyes on Advent. This post on Advent Plans gives an overview of all the resources that we have available on the Homely Hours. Here is a list.
- Also, have you printed out Bley’s beautiful church year (available for free): A Holy Year Calendar?
- From the archives: another thought on Why the Church Year:
“Celebrating the Church Year as fully as I can is another way of wisdom that helps me to be “smaller” and tunes the music of my life to the hymn of all creation. By remembering saints’ days, I am reminded that I am surrounded by a chorus of “so great a cloud of witnesses,” — that the goal of life is not happiness or self-satisfaction, but the imitation of Christ. By participating in the seasons, I join in with the Church of God throughout history and submit my soul to the authority of the ages. I am guided in my devotion to Christ, following the tempo and notation of the masters. “