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6 March

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 6 March =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Baldred of Glasgow * St. Balther of Tinningham * St. Billfrith
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 4, 2013
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      Celtic and Old English Saints 6 March

      * St. Baldred of Glasgow
      * St. Balther of Tinningham
      * St. Billfrith of Lindisfarne
      * St. Cadroe of Waulsort
      * Ss.Cyneburga and Cyneswide, & Tibba
      * St. Fridolin The Traveller
      * St. Sezin of Guic-Sezni

      St.Baldred of Glasgow, Bishop

      Died 756. Saint Baldred, a Scottish bishop said to have succeeded Saint
      Kentigern (Mungo) at Glasgow.

      He ended his life as a hermit on the coast of the Firth of Forth. Like a
      sentinel at the entrance of the Firth of Forth, just over a mile from
      North Berwick the great Bass Rock rises 460 ft out of the sea. To the
      east, towering over the cliffs of East Lothian, is Tantallon Castle,
      seemingly an impregnable stronghold for the Doublas family and there is
      an old proverb "Ding down Tantallon - Mak a brig to the Bass" showing
      that it was thought it to be as difficult to bring down the castle as it
      would to throw a bridge across to the rock. On this inhospitable island
      Baldred, who had once been a disciple of St. Kentigern, made his
      hermitage devoting himself to penance and prayer, with only the gannets
      for company.

      The missionary zeal that Baldred had learned in his years with St.
      Kentigern did not completely leave him and it is evident that he crossed
      over to the mainland and evangelized the areas round Aldham in
      Haddington and Tyningham where he had churches and there is a well that
      bears his name. His sanctity earned him a reputation for miraculous
      powers and there is a boulder near Aldham which it was believed that he
      used as a boat to cross to the rock. The Aberdeen Breviary recounts how
      he removed a dangerous reef, that had caused numerous wrecks, by
      standing on it and sailing it like a ship to a position where it would
      do no harm. His cave is near to the sea shore and on the Bass Rock the
      remains of his chapel are still visible. At Tantallon there are ruins of
      another chapel dedicated to him.

      St. Baldred died at Tyningham and was buried there but the monastery was
      destroyed by the Danes in 951. His relics were lost until they were
      discovered by Elfrid, a priest from Durham, in the twelfth century, who
      caused them to be enshrined with those of St. Bilfrid, a monk from
      Lindisfarne, and these two share March 6th as the commemoration of their
      translation (Bowen).

      Some identify him with Saint Balther, the hermit of Tinningham

      St.Balther of Tinningham
      (also known as Baldred, Balredus)
      Died 756. A monk-priest of Lindisfarne, Balther became an anchorite at
      Tinningham on the Scottish border, where he lived on Bass Rock, near
      North Berwick, surrounded by the sea. His relics were enshrined at
      Durham, with those of Saint Bilfrid (below), the anchorite

      St. Billfrith (Bilfred) of Lindisfarne, Hermit
      Died c. 758. A monk hermit at Lindisfarne off the coast of
      Northumberland in northern England, Bilfred was an expert goldsmith. He
      bound with gold, silver, and gems the famous Saint Cuthbert's copy of
      the Gospels of Lindisfarne, written and illuminated by bishop Eaddfrid.
      In life and in death he was the centre of great popular veneration
      (Benedictines, Delaney).

      * * *

      St. Billfrid and the Lindisfarne Gospels c.756

      Billfrid, before he became a hermit, was a distinguished goldsmith and
      was venerated as a saint during his life and after his death.
      St.Ethelwold commissioned him to make a cover for the precious Gospels
      of the Abbey at Lindisfarne. The history of this manuscript is known
      from a note written at the end of the book when the monks who guarded it
      and the body of St. Cuthbert were at Chester-le-Street.

      "Eadfrith, Bishop of the church at Lindisfarne,
      he first wrote this book for God and St.Cuthbert
      and for all the saints in common that are in the island,
      and Ethilwald, Bishop of those of Lindisfarne Island,
      bound and covered it outwardly as well as he could.
      And Billfrith the anchorite he wrought as a smith the
      ornaments on the outside and adorned it with gold and
      with gems, and also with silver over-gilded,
      a treasure without deceit".

      The Gospels were at Lindisfarne for almost two hundred years, but they
      were very nearly lost when the island was abandoned in 875 because of
      the Danish raids. Symeon of Durham describes the anguish of the monks
      when the ship carrying the Gospels was hit by a storm and the book sank
      into the depths of the sea. The Gospels were miraculously recovered
      through the intervention of St.Cuthbert and St. Billfrid, the former
      appearing in a vision to one of the monks telling them to search the
      shore at low tide. This they did and, after searching for more than
      three miles, they came across the book, its gold and jewels gleaming and
      the pages unharmed by its immersion in salt water.

      At Chester-le-Street the monk Aldred translated the Latin into the
      Northumbrian dialect, writing the words beneath the Latin script and so
      making the first English version of the Gospels. It was treasured at
      Durham until the Dissolution, when the cover was melted down, but the
      book itself is now in the British Museum. St.Billfrid's relics were
      discovered after a vision by a priest, Alfred Westow, and translated to
      Durham where he is commemorated with St.Baldred on March 6th also

      Painted Labyrinth - the World of the Lindisfarne Gospels
      You can 'turn the pages' of the Lindisfarne Gospels now!
      We have selected 40 of the most beautiful pages from
      the manuscript.

      * * *

      St. Cadroe (Cadroel) of Waulsort, Abbot
      Died 976. The son of a Scottish prince, Saint Cadroe was sent to Ireland
      to be educated at Armagh. He came to England and is said to have saved
      London from destruction by fire. Then he passed over to France and took
      the Benedictine habit at Fleury. Shortly after he was made abbot of the
      new foundation of Waulsort on the Meuse and finally called to Metz to
      restore Saint Clement's (Benedictines).

      Ss.Cyneburga (Kyneburga) and Cyneswide (Kuneswide), & Tibba
      Died c. 680. Cyneburga and Cyneswide were daughters of Penda, the pagan
      king of Mercia who fiercely opposed Christianity. Cyneburga married a
      Northumbrian prince and later became abbess-founder of Dormancaster (now
      Castor) in Northamptonshire, and was succeeded by her sister as
      abbess.Tibba was their near kinswoman, who joined them in the convent.
      Their relics were enshrined in the abbey of Peterborough, where the trio
      are particularly venerated (Attwater, Benedictines, Gill).

      This group is portrayed in art as two abbesses and a nun, sometimes they
      are shown with the Abbey of Castor (Roeder).

      St. Fridolin of Sackingen, Abbot
      Died c. 650. Saint Fridolin, the Irish Wanderer, gained his nickname in
      the 7th century by his endless journeyings--through Gaul, Germany, and
      Switzerland. He began his missionary work in Poitiers, France. An
      assiduous founder of monasteries, Fridolin also found the body of Saint
      Hilary of Poitiers, which had been lost when the Vandals destroyed the
      monastery in that city, and restored the church itself. He became
      devoted to St. Hilary and established other monasteries under his
      patronage, including the abbey of Sackingen. Started as a school for
      young boys on an island in the Rhein, Sackingen was no sombre place.
      Here Fridolin happily encouraged the boys to play many different sports.
      He also established an Irish-influenced abbey at Chur, Switzerland,
      where stones sculpted in the Irish fashion can still be seen. His vita
      was recorded by a monk of Sackingen five centuries after his death;
      however, he claimed to have based it on a much earlier biography. He is
      venerated as the apostle of the Upper Rhein and on his feast, the houses
      of Sackingen are decorated with the flags of Germany, Switzerland, and
      Ireland (Benedictines, Bentley, Montague).

      Saint Fridolin is depicted in art as an abbot leading a skeleton by the
      hand, a pilgrim with a staff and book (Roeder). He is patron of Alsace,
      Glarus, Sachingen, and Strasbourg and is invoked for fine weather

      St. Sezin of Guic-Sezni, Bishop
      Died c. 529. Saint Sezin was a native of Britain who laboured in Ireland
      at the time of Saint Patrick and then crossed over to Guic-Sezni in
      Brittany, where he is said to have founded a monastery and where his
      relics are now venerated (Benedictines).


      Benedictine Monks of Saint Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
      (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

      Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
      Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

      Graham, Frank. Lindisfarne or Holy Island

      Roeder, H. (1956). Saints and their Attributes, Chicago: Henry

      For All the Saints: - new active link

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West - new active link

      These Lives are archived at:
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