Hildelitha, Benedictine abbess; b. c. 650; d. c. 717. She was an Anglo-Saxon princess, who entered the monastery either of chelles or of faremoutiers, France. St. erconwald, Bishop of London, founded barking abbey for his sister St. ethelburga. He then invited Hildelide to Barking to train Ethelburga in the monastic life. Hildelide became second abbess there c. 678 and ruled until her death. She was admired by SS. bede, boniface, and aldhelm; the last-named dedicated to her and her nuns his treatise, De laudibus virginitatis. She translated the bodies of the men and women of her abbey from the cemetery to the monastic church.
Feast: Sept. 3, March 24, Dec. 22; translation feasts on March 7 and Sept. 23.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum March 3:482–485. bede, Ecclesiastical History 4.6–10. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheueux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 1935–56) 3:524–525. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 3:481.
[h. e. aikins]