Saint Aldhelm of Sherborne

wall plaque of Saint Alhelm, Church of Saint Aldhelm, Malmesbury, England; date unknown, artist unknown; photographed by Adrian Pingstone in February 2005; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Adhelm
  • Aldelmus



Son of Centa, he was a Saxon and related to the King of Wessex. Lived for a while as a hermit near Wiltshire, England. Monk at Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire. Spiritual student of Saint Maeldulph and Saint Adrian of Canterbury. Teacher and spiritual director.

Abbot at Malmesbury c.685. Instituted Benedictine reforms, and the house became a model for those around it. Founded monasteries at Frome and Brandford-on-Avon, and built three churches in Malmesbury, one of which survives today. During one of the church constructions, a roof beam was cut too short; Aldhelm prayed over it, and it lengthened. Around the year 700 Aldhelm installed the first church organ in England.

He was a tireless preacher – legend says that one sermon lasted so long that his staff took root and became a tree again. Spiritual writer known internationally in his day. One of the founders of Anglo-Latin poetry. A musician, he was skilled in the harp, fiddle and pipes, and known as a skilled and popular singer. He travelled to Rome to meet with Pope Saint Sergius I and helped settle disputes on matters of theology and practice between the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon churches. Bishop of Sherborne from 705 until his death.





MLA Citation

  • “Saint Aldhelm of Sherborne“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 June 2020. Web. 21 October 2021. <>