Portal:Saints/Selected biography/27

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Wilfrid (sometimes Wilfrith) (c. 634 – c. 709) was an English bishop and saint. Born a Northumbrian nobleman, he entered the religious life as a teenager, studying at Lindisfarne, Canterbury, Gaul and Rome, before returning to Northumbria around 660 to become abbot of a newly founded monastery at Ripon. In 664, he was the spokesman for the Roman "party" at the Council of Whitby, gaining fame for his speech advocating the adoption of the Roman practice for figuring the date of Easter. His success led the king's son, Alhfrith, to appoint him to the episcopate. In 691, though, King Aldfrith expelled Wilfrid, and he went to Mercia, where he helped missionaries and acted as bishop for the Mercian king. Wilfrid appealed to the papacy in 700 about his expulsion, and the pope ordered an English council held to decide the issue. This council, held at Austerfield in 702, attempted to confiscate all of Wilfrid's possessions, and Wilfrid traveled back to Rome to appeal this decision. His opponents in Northumbria excommunicated him, but the papacy upheld Wilfrid's side, and eventually Wilfrid was restored to Ripon and Hexham, his Northumbrian monasteries. He died in 709 or 710, and was venerated as a saint after his death.