The Princess who left court and entered a forest monastery

July 4, 2024

St. Edelburga, Virgin, also called St. Æthelburh of Faremoutiers.

She was daughter to Anna king of the East Angles, and out of a desire of attaining to Christian perfection, went into France, and there consecrated herself to God in the monastery of Faremoutier, in the forest of Brie, in the government of which she succeeded its foundress St. Fara. After her death her body remained uncorrupt, as Bede testifies. [1]

She is honoured in the Roman, French, and English Martyrologies on this day. [2] In these latter her niece St. Earcongota is named with her. She was daughter to Earconbercht king of Kent, and of St. Sexburga; accompanied St. Edelburga to Faremoutier, and there taking the veil with her, lived a great example of all virtues, and was honoured after her happy death by many miracles, as Bede relates.

Map of Faremoutiers. The modern village of Faremoutiers grew up around the abbey which was endowed with lands by Saint Fara.

Hereswide, the wife of king Anna, the mother of many saints, after the death of her husband, retired also into France, and consecrated herself to God in the famous monastery of Cale or Chelles, five leagues from Paris, near the Marne, (founded by St. Clotilda, but chiefly endowed by St. Bathildes,) where she persevered, advancing daily in holy fervour to her happy death.

See the history of the monastery of Chelles in the sixth tome of the late history of the dioceses of Paris, by Abbé Lebeuf, and Solier on this day, p. 481, etc.

Note 1. Bede, b. 3, c. 6.
Note 2. On St. Edelburga, see Solier the Bollandist, ad diem 7 Julij, t. 2, p. 481. She is called in French St. Aubierge. See on her also Du Plessis, Hist. de Meaux.

(from: The Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume VII: July, p. 43)


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