Bishop (d. 620-672)
+ Chad was born in Northumbria (England) and was a disciple of Saint Aidan and was probably educated at the monastery at Lindisfarne.
+ After living as a monk in Ireland, Chad returned to England around 653 and was ordained a priest. In 644, following the death of his brother Saint Cedd, Chad was elected abbot of Lastingham.
+ Not long after becoming abbot, confusion over the canonical status of Saint Wilfrid, bishop of Lindisfarne, led to Chad’s appointment to the post. He fulfilled his duties with great zeal, but when Wilfrid returned in 666, it was decided that Chad’s episcopal consecration was invalid and he was told to turn the diocese over to Wilfrid.
+ Chad willingly gave up the office of bishop and he was subsequently consecrated as bishop of Litchfield.
+ Before his death in 672, Chad founded and reformed many monasteries, and traveled throughout his diocese, preaching and teaching.
+ The relics of Saint Chad are enshrined in the Catholic cathedral in Birmingham, England.
For prayer and reflection
As soon as Chad had been consecrated bishop, he began most strenuously to devote himself to ecclesiastical truth and purity of doctrine and to give attention to the practice of humility, self- denial and study: to travel about, not on horseback, but on foot, after the manner of the apostles, preaching the Gospel in the towns and the open country, in cottages, villages and castles, for he was one of Aidan’s disciples and tried to instruct his hearers by acting and behaving after the example of his master and of his brother Cedd .”—Saint Bede the Venerable
On this day, we also remember Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig. A priest of the Congregation of Missionaries of Mariannhill, he was arrested by the Gestapo in his parish in Gölkelberg (Czech Republic), in 1941 for the crime of being a priest and his opposition to Nazi policies. He was sent to the concentration camp at Dachau and ministered to other prisoners there. He volunteered to care for those prisoners suffering from typhus. Blessed Engelmar, the “Angel of Dachau,” died of the same disease on March 2, 1945, and was beatified in 2016.
Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of him who washed his disciples’ feet, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(An ancient English prayer used on the feast of Saint Chad)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.