[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Ceolfrid

VII/VII Centuries

Ceolfrid at 18 left his position as a retainer to Oswy, king of Northumbria, to become a monk at Gilling. Wilfrid later invited him to join the community at Ripon, where he oversaw the spiritual formation of the monks after a trip to East Anglia where he studied at Canterbury and reportedly met Botolph. Benedict Biscop named Ceolfrid prior of the monastery of St. Peter at Wearmouth, but Ceolfrid returned to Ripon after difficulties with monks of noble parentage and the realization that his duties were too onerous for him. After traveling to Rome with Biscop, Ceolfrith was appointed head of the newly founded monastery of St. Paul at Jarrow, a position that seems to have suited him better. Bede was among his monks and praises him highly. Ceolfrid later successfully served as abbot of both monasteries. He died at Langres during a pilgrimage to Rome.

Karen Rae Keck


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