St Paulinus of York made barren hearts fertile with the fruits of the Spirit

Red Hill, on the River Trent near Littleborough, Notts. © Richard Croft, Geograph. Used under licence. Click for original.

Red Hill, on the River Trent. It was near here, at Littleborough (Roman Segelocum, Old English Tiowulfingacaestir), that Paulinus conducted countless baptisms, watched by King Edwin. Photo © Richard Croft, Geograph. Used under licence. Click for original.


Today, October 10, was at one time the feast day of St Paulinus, Bishop of York (+644).

St Paulinus was an indefatigable evangelist, turning the hearts of both kings and commoners (including St Hilda) to the true faith, at a time when decidedly unpleasant religious witchcraft was the norm.

As for St Paulinus himself, an eyewitness told a friend of Bede’s that

he was tall of stature, stooping somewhat, his hair black, his visage thin, his nose slender and aquiline, his aspect both venerable and awe-inspiring.

St Bede, “Ecclesiastical History” II.16 (Source).

This commanding figure left an indelible mark on Britain in the 7th century. He is reputed on one occasion to have spent thirty-six days engaged in serving Baptisms.

Perhaps his most important conversion was St Edwin, King of the Northumbrians. St Bede tells the remarkable story of why a hesitant Edwin eventually embraced Christianity as the official faith of his kingdom.



ILLUMINE with Thy divine light, I pray, O Good One, the souls of those who with love rise early to pray to Thee, that they may know Thee, O Word of God, as the true God, Who recalls us from the darkness of sin.


PERFORMING the divine mysteries in a godlike manner, and with a most pure mind approaching the holy things, thou hast blamelessly served God as a most sacred Hierarch.

By thy precious instructions those who were enslaved to idolatrous things have become favorites of God, and recalling them from their unworthy ways thou hast become a worthy servant of God Almighty.

Called by grace O holy one, to abolish the lawlessness of idolatry by the sacred waters of thy instructions, thou hast, by the grace of God, made barren and frozen hearts fertile with the fruits of the Spirit.


O MARY, thou who knew not wedlock didst remain a Virgin even after thy strange birth-giving, for it was God Who was born of thee and Who commands everything as He wills, O Bride of God.

From the General Menaion, for a Hierarch (Source).


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