ST. RICHARD, KING AND C.
THIS saint was an English prince, in the kingdom
of the West-Saxons, and was perhaps deprived of his inheritance by
some revolution in the state: or he renounced it to be more at
liberty to dedicate himself to the pursuit of Christian perfection.
His three children, Winebald, Willibald, and Warburga, are all
honored as saints. Taking with him his two sons, he undertook a
pilgrimage of penance and devotion, and sailing from Hamble-haven,
landed in Neustria on the western coasts of France. He made a
considerable stay at Rouen, and made his devotions in the most holy
places that lay in his way through France. Being arrived at Lucca in
Italy, in his road to Rome, he there died suddenly, about the year
722, and was buried in St. Fridian’s church there. His relies
are venerated to this day in the same place, and his festival kept at
Lucca with singular devotion. St. Richard, when living, obtained by
his prayers the recovery of his younger son Willibald, whom he laid
at the foot of a great crucifix erected in a public place in England,
when the child’s life was despaired of in a grievous sickness:
and since his death, many have experienced the miraculous power of
his intercession with God, especially where his relies invite the
devotion of the faithful. His festival is kept at Lucca, and his name
honored in the Roman Martyrology on the 7th of February. See the Life
of St. Willibald by his cousin, a nun of Heidenheim, in Canisius’s
Lectiones Antiquæ, with the notes of Basnage. Henschenius, Feb.
t. 2, p. 70.