'All who knew her called her Mother' - Bede
Hilda was born in 614 into the Deiran royal household in bloody and fractious
Nothing else seems to be known about Hilda up to 648 except that she was
baptised with Edwin's court in a river near York.; possibly she did marry,
was widowed and then, as was the custom for royal household,planned to
retreat to a life in the church.
Oswold became king of Northumbria in 633 and brought Aidan from Iona to
form a monastery at Lindisfarne. When he became Bishop, Aidan of Lindisfarne
asked Hilda to form a monastery. Hilda accepted the call and was given a
small household at the mouth of the river Wear.
In 649, Aidan made a further request to Hilda to become abbess of the
established monastery at Hartlepool, a community of men and woman.
When Oswiu became king of the Northumbria and overlord of southern England,
Hilda was given land to form a monastery at Whitby.
At the age of 43, Hilda moved to Whitby and formed another double monastery
for men and women. Her abbey was to become one of the greatest religious
and centre of learning in the known world.
|This window is in St Mary's on Lindisfarne.|
Elizabeth was a child devoted to God. She was an intelligent, well-educated girl who practiced penance and regularly gave alms to the poor. At an early age, she put herself under the protection of the Blessed Virgin and Saint John.
Elizabeth was married between the ages of thirteen and fourteen. The match proved to be a happy one. Ludwig loved her and believed his position put him in the service of God. Ludwig died leaving Elizabeth with three children, a widow at the age of twenty. In her devotion she became aware of the Rule of Francis and wanted nothing more than to follow in his footsteps. She built a monastery for the Franciscan order in 1225 at Eisenach. After a difficult few years she formally relinquished worldly possessions and then became one of the first tertiaries, a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. Her last act of the outside world was the completion of the Franciscan hospital at Marburg in the summer of 1228. After this, she devoted her heart and soul to the aid of the poor and sick, especially the most severely afflicted. She died only a few years later, at the age of twenty-four.
St. Elizabeth is generally represented as a princess holding roses in her lap. According to a legend, she was met unexpectedly as she went secretly on an errand of mercy, and, so the story runs, the bread she was trying to conceal suddenly turned into roses.
Amongst others, she is the patron saint of widows, bakers, the falsely accused and tramps.
The Communion of Saints certainly gives us something to aspire to.