Daily Martyrology for November 17

In 680, the death of St. Hilda, abbess of Whitby. She was baptized by St. Paulinus, archbishop of York (October 10). When she decided to become a nun, St. Aidan (October 8) gave her some land for a convent. She was successively abbess of the double monasteries at Hartlepool and Whitby. She was a great promoter of theological education, especially among the clergy. Several of her monks, including St. John of Beverley (May 7), became bishops. She encouraged the poet Caedmon (February l1) and hosted the Synod of Whitby.

In 1093, in Scotland, St. Margaret. Her father was Edward the Atheling, son of the King of Wessex; her mother was sister of the king of Hungary. Margaret received a good education in Hungary. After the Norman invasion of England she took refuge in Scotland, where she married King Malcom III. They lived very happily together for twenty-five years. One of their six sons was St. David (May 24); their daughter Matilda married Henry I of England. Margaret promoted culture and religion, and looked after the poor.
In 1200, in England, St. Hugh of Lincoln. He was born in Burgundy and became an Augustinian canon, then joined the Carthusians at La Grande Chartreuse. After several decades, he established the first Carthusian house in England at Witham. In 1186 he was elected bishop of Lincoln. He energetically revitalized his diocese. He was learned, cheerful, and fond of animals and children. He was also uncompromising in his concern for justice, and not afraid to stand up to three successive English kings, all of whom held him in high esteem. He staunchly opposed anti-Semitism.

In 1231, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. The daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary, she was married to Ludwig, the duke of Thuringia. They had three children during their happy but brief marriage. Elizabeth gave away many of their possessions; Ludwig told those who criticized her that Elizabeth’s generosity would bring God’s blessings on them all. Ludwig died after only six years. The next year she joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Having provided for her children, she settled in a small house near Marburg to which she attached a hospice for the sick, the poor, and the old, whom she cared for. She came under the influence of Konrad of Marburg, who was a severe and domineering spiritual director. She died at the age of twenty-four.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.