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Richard of the West Saxons

Feast day: February 7

 

Saint RichardSt. Richard of Swabia also known as St. Richard, King of Wessex (Kingdom of the West Saxons) is the brother of St. Boniface. It is uncertain whether or not he was crowned a king in this life, but he is certainly numbered with the "kings and priests" in the Kingdom of Christ.

 

St. Richard was the father of Saints Willibald, Winnebald, and Walburga.  He and his two sons left England to undertake a pilgrimage of penance and devotion. They made their way through France. Then Richard fell ill and reposed in Lucca, Italy, in 722. He was buried in the Church of St. Frediano. Miracles were reported at his tomb and he became greatly venerated by the citizens of Lucca, who embellished accounts of his life by calling him "king of the English".

 

His sons, joined by their sister, were recruited by their uncle, the newly elevated Bishop Boniface of Germany, to evangelize Germany. St. Walburga was the first abbess in Heidenheim. St. Willibald settled in Eichstatt. Some of St. Richard's remains were then translated to Eichstatt, and many there were healed through his intercessions. His connection to Swabia is apparently due to devotion to him after his repose for miracles worked through his intercession.

 

Troparion: Tone 3

Accepting Christ our God as King, O Father Richard, thou didst leave thy native Wessex to be a pilgrim. Pray that in our pilgrimage we may find salvation for our souls.