St Wilfrid’s Debt : The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
St Wilfrid’s Debt

Based on the ‘Life of St Wilfrid’ by Stephen of Ripon (early 8th century).

Wilfrid, bishop of Hexham, visited Rome in 703-704, to resolve an ongoing dispute with the King of Northumbria. On his way back, he fell ill.

WHEN Wilfrid reached Meaux, he was so weak that his friends spent every moment in heartfelt prayer as his bedside. The bishop was breathing still, but unconscious, and he had taken no food or water for four days.

Suddenly, in the midst of their chants and tears he opened his eyes and swung himself a little unsteadily onto his feet. “Where” he inquired “is Acca?” Wilfrid’s chaplain was found at once, and Wilfrid asked the others to give them a moment’s privacy.

Once the door was closed, Wilfrid told Acca that the Archangel Michael had appeared to him.

The angel promised to return in four years’ time, but because of the prayers of the Virgin Mary, for now Wilfrid would have both health and peace. Acca immediately thought of Hezekiah, who in sickness prayed to God and was granted another fifteen years of life.*

Days later Wilfrid landed in Kent, resolved to take the angel’s parting advice and build a church in Mary’s honour.

* See Isaiah 38:1-7.

Based on the ‘Life of St Wilfrid’ by Stephen of Ripon (early 8th century).

More like this

Stephen of Ripon (3) Lives of the Saints (98) History (415) St Wilfrid of Hexham and York (4) Northumbrian Enlightenment (30) Bible and Saints (113)

Picture: © Cocowiki28, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
A rose in the Jardin Bossuet, part of the Musée Bossuet in the old episcopal palace of Meaux, France, which is now the art and history museum of the town.
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Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
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