I have a few favorite Saints and one of them is Hilda of Whitby who we celebrate this week. She founded some monasteries on the Northeast Coast of England in the seventh century. Not very promising, you might think. Except that this was one of the golden ages of religious life in England, at least in that part of England. If you were going to be an impressive English Saint you had to work pretty hard to do it at this point, it was a competitive field.

The thing that I really like about Hilda is that, not only was she in charge of monasteries which housed both men and women, but she also brokered what we would now call an International Peace Treaty between the native Celtic Church in the North and the missions from Rome which were coming up from the south. The Council of Whitby led to a peaceful resolution to differences between the two parties.

Saints can seem distant and, even, irrelevant. There are some I do not connect with but there are others who really make me pay attention and give me inspiration. Hilda may not be your cup of tea, but there will be others who speak to you. It is worth seeking them out. Just as we have stories of those who have brought us to this place in families or nation, so we have stories of those who have gone before in the Church. Some Saints are sticky, their stories inspire and invite. Those are the ones to find as we follow the same way of Christ which they trod.