St. Willibrord, archbishop of Utrecht, apostle of Frisia (739)
Commemorated on November 7
He was born in Northubria in England around 638. At the age of seven he was sent to the monastery at Ripon for education under St Wilfrid (April 24), the abbot. At the age of twenty he traveled to Ireland to live among the holy monks of that land; he spent twelve years there as the spiritual child of St Egbert (also April 24). In 690 St Egbert sent Willibrord as head of a company of twelve monks to take the Gospel to the pagan lands around Frisia. The holy missionary first went to Rome to receive the blessing of Pope Sergius, then with his fellow-monks preached the Gospel throughout Holland and Zealand. In 695 Pope Sergius consecrated Willibrord Archbishop of Utrecht, instructing him to organize the Church throughout that area. As Archbishop, Willibrord continued to labor tirelessly for the spread of the Gospel in those pagan lands; his missionary travels took him as far as Denmark. He reposed in peace in 739 at Echternach Monastery (located in present-day in Luxembourg), having served for forty-four years as a bishop and for most of his life as a monastic. His tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage.