Bishop and missionary. A native of Wessex, England, he was the brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga and was related through his mother to the great St. Boniface. After studying in a monastery in Waitham, in Hampshire, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome (c. 722) with his father, who died on the way at Lucca, Italy. Willibald continued on to Rome and then to Jerusalem. Captured by Saracens who thought him a spy, he was eventually released and continued on to all of the holy places and then to Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), where he visited numerous lauras, monasteries, and hermitages. Upon his return to Italy, he went to Monte Cassino where he stayed for ten years, serving as sacrist, dean, and porter. While on a visit to Rome, he met Pope St. Gregory III (r. 731-741), who sent him to Germany to assist his cousin St. Boniface in his important missionary endeavors. Boniface ordained him in 741 and soon appointed him bishop of Eichstatt, in Franconia. the Site of Willibald's most successful efforts as a missionary. With his brother Winebald, he founded a double monastery at Heidenheim, naming Winebald abbot and his sister Walburga abbess. Willibald served as bishop for some four decades. His Vita is included in the Hodoeporicon (the earliest known English travel book). An account of his journeys in the Holy Land was written by a relative of Willibald and a nun of Heidenheim.
Bishop of Arles, France, and friend and relative of St. Honoratus. He was born to a noble family in Lorraine and was successful, although he gave up his secular career to join St. Honoratus at Lerins ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes