Very soon after his death in 739 the veneration of Willibrord as a saint set in; his remains were elevated from the original burial ground into a high grave (elevatio). The biographies of Alcuin and Thiofrid gave wider spread to this cult, which had at first been limited to the area of Willibrord’s missionary activity. More and more frequently Willibrord was mentioned in calendars and breviaries, and got his own mass. Relics started to be handed out. The bones, which had been hidden in a secret place because Norman raids, were dug out again in 1031 at the consecration of the newly reconstructed church, and solemnly interred there. After the dissolution of the abbey in the wake of the French Revolution, the sarcophagus was set up in the choir of the parish church of SS Peter and Paul, and was transferred back to the restored abbey church in 1906, and erected in a newly created spulchre.
Every Monday at 9 a. m. St Willibrord’s mass is celebrated at his grave in the crypt of the Basilica, with prayers for the concerns that have been suggested to the dean of the parish