For the first thirty years of her life Hilda, 614-680, lived a secular life and then she felt called by God to enter the monastic life. Hilda was a lover of learning and placed a very high value on giving people the opportunity to become educated. At the age of 43 she established Whitby Abbey which gave women and men a place to learn and to study theology and life. Hilda became the Abbess of Whitby.
In 663/4 Hilda was the hostess for the Synod of Whitby when there was a long conversation between the British (Celtic) Church and the Church of Rome. It was finally agreed that the Celtic Church would change its practices and adopt those of Rome. Hilda was not very happy with this decision but she decided to support it in order to maintain the unity of the Church.
Hilda exercised great influence and authority in the life of the Anglo-Saxon church, being sought after by religious leaders, kings, and common people for her wise advice. On November 18 we give thanks to God for the life of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.
Bible Reading: Psalm 122