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“Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth, Declare among the nations: “The LORD reigns!” Psalm 96:9 KJV

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St. Chad of Lichfield, Bishop

(Died – March 2, 672. Feast Day – March 2)

Chad, or Ceadda, was born in ancient Britain, probably about 620, to Saxon parents. His people had been pagan, but his parents were baptized by St. Aidan. Thus, along with several others, he represents Celtic, rather than Roman Christianity.

As a youngster he was given to the bishop of North Umbria to be both pupil and attendant. Later he seems to have gone to the Irish monastery- schools established by St. Patrick, and then to Iona, where he was ordained priest, and, after the death of two of his brothers in a plague, eventually became head of a small abbey near Whitby.

Chad is perhaps best known for not being Archbishop of York. In mid-life he returned to North Umbria, being called by its king to be chief bishop there (thus, Archbishop of York).  He was elected, and duly installed, but various persons raised objections (on the grounds that his consecrators were bishops who followed the Celtic church calendar and customs rather than the customs then being imported from the continent and from Rome). Not wishing to cause division in the Church, Chad withdrew.

He went to half-pagan Mercia as a missionary bishop, and made his home in Lichfield. He was there for only two and a half years before his death, but he made a deep impression, traveling on foot throughout his territory.

His Character

This tendency to walk rather than ride a horse was a deliberate attempt by Chad to operate at the level of the peasants for whom he cared.

He seems to have won his Sainthood by this, and by the power of his praying. Although, like many of his day, he was terrified by thunderstorms, he would spend the duration of a storm praying constantly for all who were exposed to its fury, and gave the advice that when in great fear we should pray for others, and if possible to help them, forgetting ourselves, our spirits will be calmed.