Born in 634 in Northumberland, he was educated at Lindisfarne. He spent some time in Lyons and Rome. He returned to England and was elected Abbot of Ripon in 658. There he introduced the Roman rules and practices in opposition to the Celtic ways of Northern England. The definitive victory of the Roman party at the Conference of Whitby in 664, was due to his efforts. He founded many monasteries of the Benedictine Order. In order to prevent the subdivision of his diocese by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, he had to appeal to Rome. He was forced to go into exile while waiting for the case to be decided. While in exile he worked hard and long to evangelize the heathen south Saxons until his recall in 686. Again in 691, he had to retire until Rome once again vindicated him. He resigned his post in 703 and retired to his monastery at Ripon and spent his remaining time in prayer and penitential practices. He died in 709. St. Wilfrid was an extremely capable person and possessed unbounded courage. He remained firm in his convictions despite running afoul of civil and ecclesiastical authorities.
FEAST DAY: October 12