Willehad

d.789. Missionary to the Saxons. Born in Northumbria and educated for the priesthood at York, he went in 765 as a missionary to Friesland. His work was partly inspired by the example of the earlier Northumbrian, Willibrord,* the “Apostle of Frisia.” At the direction of Charlemagne* he went about 780 to seek to evangelize the Saxons in Wigmodia (between the lower Weser and the Elbe), but his work was cut short by an insurrection in 782. After a visit to Rome he spent a few years at the monastery of Echternach (founded by Willibrord) copying ancient manuscripts. Then he returned to his earlier work, and in 787 became bishop of Bremen. He built for his diocese a cathedral dedicated to the Apostle Peter, which was opened in 789.