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Probably Northumbrian by birth, Chad often confused with his brother Cedd was educated and made his vows in the monastery of Lindisfarne under the attentive guidance of Aidan but spent part of his youth in Ireland, where he studied with St. Egbert not to be confused with Egbert, archibishop of York in the monastery of Rathmelsige. Returning to his homeland, he helped his brother Cedd found the monastery of Laestingaeu now Lastingham in Yorkshire, Vienna Metro Map becoming its abbot in 664. The same year, the priest Wilfrid appointed bishop of Northumbria with his see at York after the death of Bishop Tuda of Lindisfarne was sent to Gaul to be regularly consecrated incorrect observance of Easter and the chronic lack of bishops made a regular ordination impossible, but since he delayed his return, the king Oswiu decided to intervene personally, sending Chad to Archbishop Deusdedit of Doruvernis to be ordained bishop in order to fill the vacant see. Deusdedit having died, however, Chad was appointed bishop by Wine of Wessex pastor of the western Saxons of whom Bede recounts episodes of simony; Hist. eccl. gent. angl. III, 7, coadjudicated by two Breton bishops of the Celtic faction. Upon his return Wilfrid, now regularly ordained bishop according to Roman custom, did not want to deprive Chad of his authority, as the latter was administering his diocese with great missionary zeal and exemplary conduct. However, during the apostolic visit to the whole of England by Theodore appointed new archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Vitalian in place of the deceased Deusdedit the irregularity became evident, and Chad voluntarily withdrew, with great humility, to the monastery of Laestingaeu, leaving the leadership of the diocese to the legitimate bishop. The same year, on the death of Bishop Iaruman of Mercia, the king of that province, Wulfhere, son of the pagan Penda, asked Theodore to give him a new bishop for himself and his people; Theodore did not want to ordain a new bishop and appointed Chad as Iaruman’s successor, after personally reordaining him according to correct Roman tradition. Chad transferred the diocesan see to Licidfelth Lichfield, field of cadavers, so-called because according to an ancient tradition the remains of 1,000 British Christians, killed in a persecution of Maximian, were there and built the episcopal church there; with seven other monks, he lived there as a monk to the end of his days. He died 2 March 672, and Theodore ordained Winfrith as his successor, who was a deacon during Chad’s episcopate. His tomb at Licidfelth, first in the church dedicated to the Virgin and later transferred to the Church of St. Peter, quickly became a popular pilgrimage destination because of the many healings and miracles which, according to Bede, occurred there. At the time of the Protestant Reformation his relics were rescued by the Catholics and translated to the cathedral dedicated to him in Birmingham. A privileged source on his life and work is certainly Bede, who was instructed in Sacred Scripture by Trumberht, one of the monks who had been Chad’s disciples.

Source: Tours Maps

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