Mass of preceding Sunday
Since he exhibited both Iconodule sympathies and the willingness to follow imperial commands when they were not contrary to the faith, he was selected as Patriarch of Constantinople by the Empress Irene in 784, even though he was a layman at the time. Nevertheless, like all educated Byzantines, he was well versed in theology, and the election of qualified laymen as bishops was not unheard of in the history of the Church.
He reluctantly accepted, on condition that church unity would be restored with Rome and the oriental Patriarchs. To make him eligible for the office of patriarch, Tarasios was duly ordained to the deaconate and then the priesthood, prior to his consecration as bishop.
Together with her brothers, Saint Willibald and Saint Winibald, she travelled to Francia (now Württemberg and Franconia) to assist Saint Boniface, her mother's brother, in evangelizing among the still-pagan Germans. She had been well prepared for the call. She was educated by the nuns of Winborne Abbey, Dorset, where she spent twenty-six years as a member of the community. Thanks to her rigorous training, she was later able to write St. Winibald's vita and an account in Latin of St. Willibald's travels in Palestine, so that she is often credited with being the first female author of both England and Germany.
She became a nun and lived in the double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm near Eichstätt, which was founded by her brother, Willibald, who appointed her his successor; after his death in 751, she became abbess. Walpurga died on 25 February 777 or 779 and was buried at Heidenheim; that day still carries her name in the Catholic calendar. In the 870s, her remains were transferred to Eichstätt, and in some places, e.g. Finland, Sweden, and Bavaria, her feast day commemorates the translation of her relics on 1 May.