CALLED TO BE HOLY – Novena Day 2


st-hilda-250x336Hilda grew up at the court of her uncle, King Edwin, and was baptised and educated by St Paulinus. She entered religious life at the age of thirty-three, and in 657 she founded a double monastery of monks and nuns at Whitby, which soon became a famed centre of learning. Bede tells us that she ‘began immediately to order it in all things under a rule of life, according as she had been instructed by learned men; for Bishop Aidan [of Lindisfarne], and others of the religious that knew her, frequently visited her and loved her heartily, and diligently instructed her, because of her innate wisdom and love of the service of God.’ Hilda’s connection with St Aidan strengthened her great love of the Irish Christian tradition, but she was also passionate about the unity of the Church. In 664 she hosted the Synod of Whitby where her guidance helped ensure that the Northumbrian Church came to follow the authority of Rome in such matters as the dating of Easter. She was known by all as ‘Mother’: among those she encouraged was the illiterate shepherd (or cow-herd) Cædmon, ‘joyfully recognising the grace of God in the man’, as Bede says. Cædmon’s divinely inspired song of praise for the Creator (today’s reading) is the gift of them both to the Church.

To find today’s reading, prayers and psalm click here.

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