Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hilda (614–680)

St Hilda’s Baptism

In 627 King Edwin took the momentous step of accepting the Christian faith. He was baptised on Easter Day 12 April, in a small wooden church, hastily constructed for the occasion, near the site of the present York Minster. The ceremony was performed by the monk-bishop Paulinus, who had come from Rome with Augustine. He accompanied Ethelburga, a Christian princess, when she came North from Kent to marry King Edwin. As Queen, she continued to practise her Christianity and, no doubt, influenced her husband’s thinking.

Hilda was among the nobles and courtiers who were baptised with Edwin. This means that as a girl she must have been aware of the traditions of the Church in Rome and of the existence of monastic life.

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