Posted by: anna | July 22, 2009


Today (on the Old Calendar of course, 9 July) is the feast of St Everild of Everingham. As yet I can’t see an icon of Everild (of whom I had only heard before as Everilda) anywhere online. If I were to become an iconographer, I would want to paint icons of the British saints especially and return their images to our visible clouds of witness. Not that an image made with hands is in any way necessary, but as we do have icons, they are missing. I look forward to seeing more icons of British saints as I visit more of the Orthodox churches in the UK.


What an exciting and humbling thing to create a ‘new’ icon for a saint whose icon is not in the traditional canon of images, or who has fallen out of it. I suspect some of these saints never had much of a following and there probably never were images of them, or very few. How to go about constructing one? I would like to go on an introductory icon-writing course.


Everild (Everildis, Averil) (d. c.700), virgin. All that we know of her comes from the York breviary. According to this source she was of a noble Wessex family; she went to the north of England to become a nun with her companions Bega (St Bee) and Wulfreda. They settled on land owned by Wilfrid (St Wilfrid of York) called Bishop’s Farm, which he gave them. The nunnery grew until, we are told, it numbered eighty; Everild died peacefully when her mission was accomplished. It was believed that this saint gave her name to Everingham (now Humberside) but E. Ekwall gives as its derivation ‘The ham of Eofor’s people’. Feast: 9 July , in medieval calendars of York and Northumbria and two martyrologies.


AA.SS. Iul. II (1721), 713; Stanton, pp.pp. 328–9. York Breviary, s.d. 9 July .


“Everild” The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. David Hugh Farmer. Oxford University Press 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. University of Oxford. 23 July 2009


Instead of Everilda, here is a lovely bit of stained glass from York, demonstrating beautiful 15th (I think) century York school painting style, especially in the faces:



York, St Denys, Walmgate
Chancel, east window I
…2011 update:
Miss Dunbar says: ‘St. Everildis, July 9, V.  7th century. Of noble parents in England, in the reign of St. Oswald. She was converted to Christianity when Kinegils, king of the West Saxons, was baptized by St. Berinus, in 635. She took the veil, and lived with great sanctity with two other virgins, Bega and Waldreda, at
a place afterwards called Evereldsham, given her by St. Wilfrid. Soller gives this account from a manuscript martyrology of Usuard and from the lessons of her office, but he doubts the authenticity of the sources of the story. Brit. Sancta. Soller in AA.SS. Butler.’
  • has escaped the notice of celt-saints so far, it seems
  • There are two churches dedicated to Everilda, both in t’north: one in Everingham and the other just ouside York in Nether Poppleton. The latter has a couple of fragments of medieval stained glass, probably the Christ and St Mary figures from a scene of the Coronation of the Virgin.
 Troparion Tropaire à sainte Evelride, higoumène, (natalice au 7ème siècle)

Fille du roi païen des Saxons Kinéglis,*
Tu découvris l’amour immense du Seigneur*
Quand ton père fut baptisé par saint Bertin.*
Avec deux autres compagnes, tu t’en allas*
Pour vivre sous l’autorité de saint Wilfrid.*
Sainte Evelride, prie le Christ-Dieu pour nos âmes!

Daughter of Kinegils, pagan king of the Saxons,
You discovered a great love for the Lord
When your father was baptised by St Birinus.
With two companions, you went
To live under the authority of St Wilfrid.
Holy Everilda, pray to Christ God for our souls!


  1. I do wish you would, we definitely need more icons of the British Isle Saints.

    Waves, I love your blog, thank you for stopping by mine so I was introduced!

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