Père de sainte Walburge, de saint Willibald et de saint Wunibald (✝ 722)
Roi saxon qui dut abdiquer, il se réfugia d'abord à Rouen avant de partir pour un pèlerinage à Rome. Il y y fit un long séjour, puis continua ses voyages. La mort le surprit à Lucques en Italie qui le fête à cette date du 7 février.
À Lucques en Toscane, vers 720, la mise au tombeau de saint Richard, père des saints Winebald, Willibald et Walburge, qui, s’en allant d’Angleterre en pèlerinage à Rome avec ses fils, mourut en route.
Saint Richard, roi du Wessex en Angleterre avait trois enfants : sainte Walburge ( 25 février ), saint Willibald ( 7 juin ), saint Wunibald ou Wynnebald ( 18 décembre ). Il partit en pélerinage vers 720 pour Rome avec ses deux fils de 20 et 19 ans. Ils traversèrent la Manche et remontèrent jusqu' à Rouen. Ils visitèrent les sanctuaires chrétiens français, mais saint Richard mourut en 722 à Lucques ( Lucca en italien ) avant d' avoir atteint la Ville éternelle.
Son fils Willibald, parti évangéliser l' Allemagne avec saint Boniface, devint le premier évêque d' Eichstätt. Il fut le fondateur de l' abbaye d' Heidenheim qui comportait un monastère d' hommes dirigé par son frère saint Wunibald, et un monastère de femmes dirigé par sa soeur sainte Walburge.
Les habitants de Lucques conservèrent les reliques du saint à l' église de San Frediano où des miracles avaient été constatés.
Richard the King (RM)
Died 722. Perhaps Saint Richard was not really a king--early Italian legend made him a prince of Wessex--but his sanctity was verified by the fact that he fathered three other saints: Willibald, Winebald (Wunibald), and Walpurga (Walburga). Butler tells us that "Saint 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. . . . [he 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. . . . 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."
He fell ill, died suddenly at Lucca, Italy, and was buried in the church of San Frediano. A later legend makes him the duke of Swabia, Germany. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and he became greatly venerated by the citizens of Lucca and those of Eichstatt to where some of his relics were translated. The natives of Lucca amplified accounts of his life by calling him king of the English. Neither of his legends is especially trustworthy--even his real name is unknown and dates only from the 11th century. A famous account of the pilgrimage on which he died was written by his son's cousin, the nun Hugeburc, entitled Hodoeporicon (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, White)
In art, King Saint Richard is portrayed as a royal pilgrim (ermine- lined cloak) with two sons--one a bishop and one an abbot. His crown may be on a book (Roeder). He is venerated at Heidenheim and Lucca (Roeder).
St. Richard, King in England, and Confessor
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 honoured as saints. Taking with him his two sons, he undertook a pilgrimage of penance and devotion, and sailing for Hamblehaven, 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 relics 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 relics invite the devotion of the faithful. His festival is kept at Lucca, and his name honoured 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.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume II: February. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
Saxon king, possibly of Wessex in modern England. Married, and the father of Saint Willibald, Saint Winebald, and Saint Walburga. At least two disparate biographies exist for him, neither of them very creditable. Died suddenly during a pilgrimage to Rome, Italy.
§ miracles reported at his tomb
§ pilgrim in an ermine-lined cloak (wears a crown, or it sits on a book nearby) with a bishop and an abbot, his sons, nearby