Celtic and Old English Saints          23 December

* St. Frithbert of Hexham
* St. Mazota of Abernethy

St. Frithbert of Hexham, Bishop
(also known as Fridebert, Frithubeorht)
Died 766. Frithbert succeeded Saint Acca as bishop of Hexham, which he
governed for 34 years, and, in the interim, he also administered
Lindisfarne while its bishop, Cynewulf, was in prison. His relics were
discovered at Hexham in 1154 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer).

Saint Frithbert was consecrated Bishop of Hexham on September 8, 734, by 
Archbishop Egbert. During the imprisonment of Cynewulf, Bishop of 
Lindisfarne, Frithbert had charge of that see. He was Bishop of Hexham 
thirty-two years, and died December 23, 766.

In 1154, when the bones of various saints of Hexham were translated, 
Frithbert's were found with an inscription on the coffer. One of his teeth 
was preserved at Durham.

Source: G. Miles, The Bishops of Lindisfarne, Hexham, Chester-le-Street, and 
Durham A.D. 635 - 1020 Being an Introduction to the Ecclesiastical History 
of Northumbria (London, 1898,) 271.


The death of St Frithbert is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

A.D. 766 . This year died Archbishop Egbert at York, on the thirteenth day 
before the calends of December, who was bishop thirty-six winters; and 
Frithbert at Hexham, who was bishop there thirty-four winters. Ethelbert was 
consecrated to York, and Elmund to Hexham.

A photograph showing the seven canonised Saxon bishops of Hexham on the 
former reredos, Hexham Abbey which features St Frithbert can be seen here:


St. Mazota of Abernethy, Virgin
8th century. Mazota was one of a band of 19 maidens who migrated from
Ireland to Scotland to found the convent at Abernathy on the Tay. Mazota
seems to have been their leader (Benedictines).

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