Saint Hilda of Whitby

detail of stained glass window of Saint Hilda at the cloister of the cathedral of Chester, England; date and artist unknown; photographed on 31 July 2014 by Mum's taxi; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Hild of Whitby



Daughter of Hereric and Breguswith. Sister of Saint Hereswitha. Grand-niece of King Saint Edwin of Northumbria. Baptized in 627 at age thirteen by Saint Paulinus of York. Lived as a single lay woman until age 33 when she became a Benedictine nun at the monastery of Chelles in France. Abbess at Hartepool, Northumberland, England. Abbess of the double monastery of Whitby, Streaneshalch. Abbess to Saint Wilfrid of York, Saint John of Beverley, and three other bishops. Patroness and supporter of learning and culture, including the work of the poet Caedmon.

Hilda and her houses followed the Celtic liturgy and rule, but many houses had adopted the continental Benedictine rule, and the Roman liturgy. Hilda convened a conference in 664 to help settle one a single rule. When the conference settled on the Roman and Benedictine, they were adopted throughout England, and Hilda insured the observance of her houses.



  • 680 of natural causes



  • being carried to heaven by the angels
  • holding Whitby abbey in her hands with a crown on her head or at her feet
  • stopping wild birds from stealing a corn crop
  • turning serpents into stone
Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Hilda of Whitby“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 August 2020. Web. 22 January 2022. <>