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Winnibald

(c. 702—761) abbot of Heidenheim


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Willibald (c. 700—787) bishop of Eichstätt

St Walburga (c. 710—779) abbess of Heidenheim

St Boniface (c. 675—754) archbishop of Mainz, missionary, and martyr

 

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(d. 761), abbot of Heidenheim (Würtemmburg). Brother of Willibald and Walburga, Winnibald made a pilgrimage with them to Rome, where he stayed on to study for seven years before returning to England. There he collected some companions and in 739 joined Boniface in Thuringia. He was soon ordained priest and undertook missionary work in Thuringia and Bavaria. Later he rejoined his brother Willibald, now bishop of Eichstatt. Together they founded the monastery of Heidenheim. This followed the Rule of St Benedict and became an important centre for its propagation. It was also the only double monastery among the 8th-century foundations in Germany, doubtless based on Anglo-Saxon models. The monastery was a centre of evangelism as well as of prayer and work; Winnibald narrowly escaped assassination from pagans in the neighbourhood. For long he suffered from ill-health: this prevented him from ending his life at Monte Cassino as he had hoped. He died at Heidenheim on 18 December 761. His sister Walburga ruled the double monastery after his death and his biographer was the nun Hugeburc, who also wrote Willibald's Hodoeporicon. Miracles were recorded at his tomb and his feast was kept on 18 December.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Saints in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Christianity.


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