News Archive

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Hail, holy Wilfrid, hail!

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St Bede records the original inscription on St Wilfrid's tomb in Ripon:

Here Wilfrid, mighty prelate, lies at peace
Who, spurred by love of God, this temple raised,
And hallowed it in Peter's noble name,
To whom our Master Christ bequeathed the keys.
Fair gold and purple vestments he bestowed,
A noble cross of richly shining ore
He placed aloft as sign of victory won.
The Gospels four in golden letters writ
At his command and in due order bound
Were fitly cased in covers of red gold.
Easter's mistimed observance he set right
In due conformity with canon law
Fixed by the Fathers, and to all his folk
Banishing doubt, made manifest the truth.
Here he established many flocks of monks
And as a watchful shepherd bade them keep
The Rule established by the saints of old.
In his long life he weathered many storms,
Discords at home and perils overseas.
He ruled as bishop five and forty years,
And passed rejoicing to God's heavenly realm.
Grant us, O Jesus, his true flock to be,
And tread with him the road that leads to Thee.