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St. Chad, Bishop and Confessor

Chad, also known as Ceada, was born in Northumbria around 620 A.D. He was the youngest of four brothers: Cedd, Cynibild, Caelin, and Chad. All the brothers became clergymen. Cedd last-minute was established bishop of East Saxons( London ).

Chad entered the monastery at Lindisfarne and studied under St. Aidain. St. Aidain heartened his students to travel on foot, so whenever Chad traveled he did so on foot, stopping along the way to react beings and share the faith.

In 664 A.D ., Chad’s brother, Cynibild, was stricken with the beset that was spreading throughout the country. Cedd , now Bishop of London, mailed for Chad and asked him to supplant two brothers as Abbot of Lastingham. Cedd too fell victim to the plague and both brethren were dying.

Shortly after becoming Abbot, St. Wilfrid, who had been chosen to succeed Tudi, Bishop of Lindisfarne, went to Gaul for consecration. He bided away for such a long period of time, however, that King Oswiu developed impatient and decided to nominate Chad as Bishop of York( which is where the Bishopric of Lindisfarne had been transferred ). Chad was ordained by Wini, Bishop of Winchester, and assisted by two British prelates. Harmonizing to writings by St. Bede, Chad devoted himself to all official duties, inspecting his diocese on foot and urging the message wherever he went.

All was well until St. Theodorus, Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived in England for a visit and decided that Chad’s Episcopal consecration was invalid. Chad’s reply to this was,” If you judge that I have not properly received the Episcopal ordination, I happily resign this commission, having never envisioned myself worthy of it, but which, nonetheless unworthy, I submitted to undertake in obedience .” The Archbishop was charmed by Chad’s humility, but still felt that there were solemnities that were not carried out as they should have been, interpreting Chad’s ordination invalid.

Chad humbly and graciously left his See and retired to his monastery. He was not there long, nonetheless, before the Bishop of Mercians died and Chad was asked to make its term of office. This diocese was large and had experienced much abuse under the rule of Maximianus Herculeus. Chad was the fifth bishop of Mercians. Because of Chad’s old age and the plain of his diocese, Archbishop Theodorus forbade Chad to continue to travel by foot and caused him a mare. Chad refused to take the mare, so the Archbishop physically picked him up and prepared him on the animal. Chad capitulated and accepted the horse, which he found was a great benefit to his ministry.

During his episcopacy, Chad not only preached, evangelized and reformed the celibate lifetime, but also built a cathedral on the site of the martyrdom of 1,000 Christians by the pagan Mercians. He too had reservoirs dug so travelers could stop for a drinking of liquid. It being told that miracles occurred at many of these sites.

The plague returned in 672 A.D. and this time Chad contracted the dreaded cancer. On March 2, 672 A.D ., Chad went to be with his Maker.

Lesson

St. Chad was probably best known for not being the Archbishop of York. He was elected and properly installed but some demonstrated that his ordination was not valid. Instead of effecting a gossip in the church, Chad withdrew in favor of the other candidate, Wilfrid. The dissent was that some of the bishops that been involved with Chad’s ordination were in schism with the church at the time. St. Chad became better well known to Americans in our own recent elections when there was so much controversy about “chads.” It is ironic that Saint Chad, extremely, was at the center of a contentious poll over 1300 years earlier.

Prayer

We thank you, Father, for the humble lesson of St. Chad. We pray that we would always seek to serve, rather than to be served, to enjoy rather than to seek praise, and to be a light in the darkness for others seeking truth. Amen.

Other Saints We Remember Today

Blessed Charles the Good( 1124 ), Martyr, Patron of weighs and advocates

Photo by Mariusz Matuszewski fran Pixabay

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