St. Hildelith, Abbess of Barking
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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