by Dr. Vladimir Moss
Our Holy Father Hybald was born in the late 630s. In his youth, he was probably a monk in Lindisfarne, where he got to know St. Egbert, the future abbot of Iona. At some time he visited Egbert in Ireland. Then, in about 660 he returned to England, perhaps with St. Chad. For it was in the diocese of St. Chad that St. Hybald became abbot of a monastery in Lindsey (Lincolnshire) in what is now Hybaldstow. The Venerable Bede says that he was a very holy and abstinent man.
The following prayer, from an eighth or ninth Worcestershire prayer book, is attributed to St. Hybald: «I beseech God, the omnipotent Father, Who created heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is, Who is blessed God in all and over all forever, that He discharge me of all my sins and misdeeds which I have done from the cradle of my youth until this hour of my life [and which] in deeds, in words, in thoughts, in sight, in laughter, in going, in hearing, in touch and smell, willing, unwilling, knowing and unknowing, in spirit and in body, I have committed in folly.»
In the nineteenth century, the vicar of the church of St. Hybald in Hibaldstow found the remains of a very tall and powerful man in a stone coffin. It is thought that these may be the relics of St. Hybald. The stone coffin with the relics has now been reburied under the floor on the church on the south side of the chancel.
St. Hybald is commemorated on December 14.
Holy Father Hybald, pray to God for us!
(Sources: The Venerable Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, IV, 3; David Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1978, p. 201; Ian Thompson, St. Hybald of Hibaldstow, Scunthorpe: Bluestone Books; leaflet in St. Hybald’s church)