St. Richard

St. Richard the Pilgrim or Richard of Wessex (died 720) was the father of the West Saxon saints Willibald, Winnibald, and Walpurga. He led his family on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but died en route in Lucca, where he was buried in the church of Saint Fridianus. The name of the saints’ father is not given in the 8th-century Hodoeporicon (Itinerary) of Hygeburg, the earliest source, nor is Richard listed in the earliest martyrologies. The name Richard and his identity as a “king of the English” are inventions of the 10th century from the monastery of Heidenheim. His relics were being publicly displayed in both Lucca and Eichstätt in the 12th century. His feast day is celebrated on February 7.

There is one church in England dedicated to him, St Ricarius Church, Aberford.


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