‘[W]ilfrid’s own authority came above all from his love of the gospel and his obedience to the word of God. The loyalty and love that he inspired in others – those crowds of his monks, for example, who came to greet him on his return from Rome in his old age – was based on the fact that they saw him as a rock, a man of ever-stable and unshakable faith, to be relied upon, even in the most adverse circumstances. He could sing the psalms with joy when thrown into solitary confinement in a dark cell. He could run to meet a martyr’s death as a young man in Lyon; fearless in the face of death, because he was confident in the risen Christ.
… On the first anniversary of his death, all the abbots and bishops from north, south, east and west gathered with the local people to celebrate the feast. At the end of the celebrations, which had begun with the vigil the evening before, they went out to sing compline in the twilight. “Suddenly a wonderful white arc shone out before them in the heavens, encircling the entire monastery.” The heavens bore witness to the light brought to many peoples by the first English apostle’.
from ‘Saint Wilfrid’, 2002, by Fr John Nankivell
Almighty God, who didst call our forebears to the light of the Gospel by the preaching of thy servant Wilfrid: grant us, who keep his life and labour in remembrance, to glorify thy Name by following the example of his zeal and perseverance; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon