Saint Guthlac of Croyland

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Guthlac of Croyland; artist unknown, 19th century; Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire, England; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Guthlac of Crowland
  • Guthlacus….
  • Guthlake….



Born to the Mercian nobility, the son of Penwald; brother of Saint Pega of Peakirk. Soldier for nine years in the army of King Ethelred of Mercia; the freedom to loot led to him amassing a large forture. However, in 697 he had a conversion experience and gave up the violent life to become a Benedictine monk at Repton under abbess Elfrida. Known for his ascetic and strict habits. Hermit in the Lincolnshire fens, living like the Desert Fathers in an inhospitable swamp area rumoured to be the haunt of monsters and devils; the abbey of Croyland was built on the site of his hermit’s cell. Had visions of angels, demons and Saint Batholomew, to whom he had special devotion. Became friends with wild animals, had the gift of prophecy, and his reputation for holines attracted many would-be students including Saint Bettelin. Ordained by Bishop Hedda of Winchester who consecrated Guthlac’s cell as a chapel so he could celebrate Mass there.


  • 673 in Mercia, England
  • legend says that when he was born, a shining hand surrounded by reddish-yellow light came down from heaven and blessed the house




MLA Citation

  • “Saint Guthlac of Croyland“. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 November 2021. Web. 17 January 2022. <>