Saint Wilfrid, our Patron and our Guide - St Wilfrids Catholic High School and Sixth Form College

Saint Wilfrid, our Patron and our Guide

Saint Wilfrid, born in Northumbria around 634 AD, was a prominent figure in the early medieval Christian Church in England. His life, marked by perseverance, zeal, and dedication to spreading Christianity, earned him the title of the “Apostle of the North.”

Wilfrid began his religious journey at Ripon, where he received his early education and later became a monk. He travelled to Rome, where he studied under Pope Boniface and absorbed the traditions and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This period profoundly influenced Wilfrid’s spiritual outlook and theological knowledge.

Upon returning to England, Wilfrid became renowned for his eloquence, learning, and commitment to the Christian faith. He was ordained as a priest and quickly rose through the ecclesiastical ranks, eventually becoming the abbot of Ripon.

In 664 AD, Wilfrid played a significant role in the Synod of Whitby, a pivotal event in the history of the English Church. At the synod, he advocated for Roman practices over Celtic traditions, including the calculation of Easter. His persuasive arguments swayed the decision in favour of the Roman customs, leading to greater unity within the English Catholic Church.

Despite his successes, Wilfrid faced numerous challenges throughout his life. He endured persecution, exile, and conflicts with secular authorities, including clashes with King Ecgfrith of Northumbria and other rulers. However, Wilfrid’s unwavering faith and determination enabled him to overcome these obstacles.

One of Wilfrid’s most enduring legacies is his missionary work in Northumbria and other parts of England. He established monasteries, promoted education, and tirelessly preached the Gospel to both nobles and commoners. His efforts contributed significantly to the spread of Christianity in the region and the consolidation of the Church’s influence.

Saint Wilfrid’s life exemplifies the virtues of courage, resilience, and devotion to God. Saint Wilfrid is a model of our own Catholic ‘HEART’ Virtues of hard work, excellence, aspiration and achievement, respect and thrive. We, as a school, pray and hope that we will model ourselves on our patron.

He died on October 12, 709 AD, leaving behind a rich legacy of faith and service to inspire future generations. Canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Wilfrid’s feast day is celebrated on October 12th, commemorating his enduring impact on the Christian faith in the north of England.