Hilda was the niece of King Edwin of Northumbria. He converted to Christianity in 627 AD, and his whole family followed him. Hilda was baptized at 13 years old, and at 33, she decided to become a nun. Under the direction of Aidan of Lindisfarne, she developed several monasteries, the most famous of them at Whitby. Whitby was known as a double-house. There was a men’s house and woman’s house separated by a common chapel. Hilda was the governor of both and her leadership was legendary.
At that point in history, the Celtic church and the Roman Catholic Church had a few differences in calendar as well as what a monk wore and what style of haircut they would have. Hilda preferred the Celtic ways, but in 664 AD, a synod was held at Whitby, and the English church decided to follow the Roman Catholic ways. She was loved by kings and commoners alike and was known for her wisdom, and the promotion of an educated clergy.
Scriptures for the Day:
O God of peace, by whose grace the abbess Hilda was endowed with Gifts of justice, prudence, and strength to rule as a wise mother over the nuns and monks of her household, and to become a trusted and reconciling friend to leaders of the Church: Give us the grace to respect and love our fellow Christians with whom we disagree, that our common life may be enriched and your gracious will be done, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.