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Corpus Christi Primary School

Corpus Christi Primary School

St. Hilda

Hilda as a woman of great energy, who was a skilled administrator and teacher. Although Hilda must have had a strong character, she inspired affection. As Bede writes, "All who knew her, called her mother, because of her outstanding devotion and grace."

It is not known where Hilda was born, but we know that her birth took place in the year 614. Hilda’s noble status is important in understanding her, but it did not mean she had an easy life. Hilda became a nun is not known, she learned the traditions of Celtic monasticism. After a year, Hilda was appointed second Abbess of Hartlepool. In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of a new monastery at Whitby; she remained there until her death in 680.

Hilda suffered from fever for the last six years of her life, but she continued to work until her death on 17th November 680, at what was then the advanced age of sixty-six. In her last year she set up another monastery, fourteen miles from Whitby. On her deathbed, as Bede reports, she urged her community "to preserve the gospel peace amongst themselves and towards all others," then, "in the words of our Lord, she passed from death to life".

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