Feast of St. Hedda of Wessex (July 7)   2 comments

Above:  England in 700 C.E.

SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX (DIED 705)

Roman Catholic Bishop

St. Hedda of Wessex (died 705), once a monk at St. Hilda Monastery, Whitby, England, became Bishop of Wessex in 675.  His first see city was Dorcester, near Oxford; the second was Winchester.  Bishop for three decades, he gave Malmesbury Abbey a land endowment.  The saint also helped King Ine of Wessex (reigned 688-726) write the law code in 690-693.  This was a foundational law code English history, one which reflected Ine’s Christianity, if not post-Enlightenment ideals of civil liberties.  King Alfred the Great (reigned 871-899) borrowed from Ine’s law code when creating his own.

As for Ine, he abdicated in the last year of his life.  Then he and Aethelburth, his wife, made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he died.

As I write hagiographies I include saints who have functioned in political roles, often as royal or imperial advisers.  Those who impress me the most are those, such as St. Hedda, who used their position to protect minorities.  Ine’s law code, for example, extended protection to the Welsh.  Ine did issue the law code, so much credit for this goes to him, of course.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 5, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SENATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONIFACE OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lord God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we [encouraged by the example of your servant Saint Hedda of Wessex]

may persevere in the course that is set before us and, at the last,

share in the eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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2 responses to “Feast of St. Hedda of Wessex (July 7)

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  1. Love the encouragement of the saints before us – sometimes we can relate and sometimes we cannot – but the passion to follow Christ and what that looks like will always be the same…blessings

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