St Ceolfrid Abbot Confessor (642-716) Saint of the day
St Ceolfrid, whose name is the Teutonic form of “Geoffery”, was a Northumbrian (English) nobleman before becoming a Benedictine monk and priest at Ripon under St Wilfrid. On account of his outstanding sanctity and humility, he was sent to assist St Benedict Biscop who was then founding the new abbey of Wearmouth. There he became Prior, and when the second monastery was founded at nearby Jarrow in 681, he became its first Abbot.
St Benedict, on his deathbed, designated St Ceolfrid as his successor, who, during his 26-year rule was able to bring many of his predecessors’ plans to happy fruition. The venerable St Bede was one of his monks. St Ceolfrid had a surpassing interest in studies, which led him to nearly double the set of his two monastery libraries.
At 74, he resigned his office and went on a pilgrimage to Rome, taking with him, as an offering to the Pope, the famous Codex Amiatinus, which still exists. Probably written at Wearmouth or Jarrow (c.700) during the time that he was Abbot, it is the best and one of the oldest texts which we have of St Jerome’s Vulgate.
St Ceolfrid died on a journey through France on 26 September 716; his relics have been translated to Wearmouth Jarrow.