Saint Waltheof of Melrose
Jul 09, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast August 3
Abbot of Melrose
Waltheof was born of English nobility. The son of Simon, the Earl of Huntingdon, and Maud, the grand-niece of William the Conqueror, he was also the grandson of Saint Waldef of Northumbria.
As a child, Waltheof felt drawn to churches and the religious life. Following his father's death, he, and his mother and brother moved to Scotland where Maud married King David I. As part of the royal court, he was educated and became a spiritual student of St. Aelred.
Following his long-held inclination to contemplation and desiring to dedicate himself entirely to God, Waltheof left Scotland and traveled to Yorkshire to join the Augustinian Canons at the monastery at Nostell.
He was soon chosen as prior, and led the monks in a more austere rule. Some time later, Waltheof left Nostell for the more austere life of the Cistercian monks.
Four years after receiving the Cistercian habit, he was nominated as abbot of Melrose, a newly established monastery. Then, in 1154, he was chosen as the new bishop of St. Andrews, but in his humility, he begged St. Aelred to oppose the election and not oblige him to accept.
Waltheof died in 1160 of old age. It has been said that he strove so greatly for perfection, that his confessors often found him irksome.