[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Hildelith, Abbess of Barking

VII/VIII Centuries
Born in England, St. Hildelith (or Hildelid) took monastic vows in France. St. Erconwald asked her to return to England to teach his sister Ethelburga the skills and practices necessary to an abbess. Hildelith succeeded her pupil as abbess of Barking c. 675 and was well regarded as an administrator and as a nun. Aldhelm addressed his treatise on virginity to her and her flock. Boniface and Bede praise her highly. She is said to have been very old at the time of her death c. 712/17. Legends that she was an Anglo-Saxon princess are now disregarded.

Karen Rae Keck


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