Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Ceadda

Saint Chad of MerciaArticle

Commonly known as Saint Chad.

Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop successively of York and Lichfield, England; date of birth uncertain, died 672.

He is often confounded with his brother, Saint Cedd, also Abbot of Lastingham and the Bishop of the East Saxons. He had two other brothers, Cynibill and Caelin, who also became priests. Probably Northumbrian by birth, he was educated at Lindisfarne under Saint Aidan, but afterwards went to Ireland, where he studied with Saint Ecgberht in the monastery of Rathmelsige (Melfont). There he returned to help his brother Saint Cedd to establish the monastery of Laestingaeu, now Lastingham in Yorkshire. On his brother’s death in 664, he succeeded him as abbot.

Shortly afterwards Saint Wilfrid, who had been chosen to succeed Tudi, Bishop of Lindisfarne, went to Gaul for consecration and remained so long absent that King Oswiu determined to wait no longer, and procured the election of Chad as Bishop of York, to which place the Bishopric of Lindisfarne had been transferred. As Canterbury was vacant, he was consecrated by Wini of Worcester, assisted by two British bishops. As bishop he visited his diocese on foot, and laboured in an apostolic spirit until the arrival of Saint Theodore, the newly elected Archbishop of Canterbury who was making a general visitation. Saint Theodore decided that Saint Chad must give up the diocese to Saint Wilfrid, who had now returned. When he further intimated that Saint Chad’s episcopal consecration had not been rightly performed, the Saint replied, “If you decide that I have not rightly received the episcopal character, I willingly lay down the office; for I have never thought myself worthy of it, but under obedience, I, though unworthy, consented to undertake it”. Saint Theodore, however, desired him not to relinquish the episcopate and himself supplied what was lacking (“ipse ordinationem ejus denuo catholica ratione consummavit” — Bede). Ceadda then returned to Lastingham, where he remained till Saint Theodore called him in 669 to become Bishop of the Mercians. He built a church and monastery at Lichfield, where he dwelt with seven or eight monks, devoting to prayer and study time he could spare from his work as bishop. He received warning of his death in a vision.

His shrine, which was honoured by miracles, was removed in the twelfth century to the cathedral at Lichfield, dedicated to Our Lady and the Saint himself. At the Reformation his relics were rescued from profanation by Catholics, and they now lie in the Catholic cathedral at Birmingham, which is dedicated to him. His festival is kept on the 2nd of March. All accounts of his life are based on that given by Venerable Bede, who had been instructed in Holy Scripture by Trumberct, one of Saint Chad’s monks and disciples.

MLA Citation

  • Edwin Burton. “Siant Ceadda”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 January 2016. Web. 18 September 2021. <>