November 7, Saint Willibrord, Bishop and Confessor
Willibrord returned to Friesland as soon as he could, and established his See at Utrecht. He proclaimed the Word of God with much fruit in Friesland, Holland, Seeland, and Flanders, (even unto the uttermost tribes of those countries,) brake their idols, destroyed their temples and shrines, dedicated many temples to Christ, and established bishops, priests, and other ministers of the Church, eminent for knowledge and grace. He founded houses of religious of both sexes, among which the principal was that for monks at Echternach, in Luxemburg, the government whereof he himself took, and held until his death. At length, after a life of holy and unwearied apostolic labours, he passed away, to be ever with Christ, on November 7th, 739, and of his own age the eighty-first. He is usually reckoned as the Apostle of the Frisians, for it was through his labours and those of his blessed companions, especially of Saint Swithbert, that this barbarous people were made gentle in Christ. He was buried in the Abbey of Echternach. After his death his apostolic labours were taken up by many other Englishmen, eminent among whom were Saints Willehad, Marcellinus, and Lebwin, all of whom are commemorated in the Martyrology.
Collect:O God, who didst vouchsafe to send thy blessed Saint Willibrord to preach thy glory to the Gentiles, we humbly pray thee, that, by his merits and intercession, we may both see and know the things which we ought to do, and by thy mercy be enabled to perform the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen