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Our Patronal Saint

St Etheldreda, East window. St Etheldreda's.
Designed by Joseph Edward Nuttgens and installed in 1952.

21 Jun 2024

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Patronal Feastday

Today is the patronal feast of our parish St Etheldreda, of the seventh century. She was married twice but remained a virgin, and in 672 left her husband, king Egfrid, the king of Northumbria,to become a nun. According to St Bede, her husband king Egfrid approached Bishop Wilfred with wealth and land in order to persuade the queen Ethedreda to consent to fulfil her marriage duty, for the king knew that Bishop Wilfred was the queen’s spiritual father and confidante. Both Bishop Wilfred and Etheldreda are saints in the Church for the outstanding virtuous lives they lived. Our father founder Antonio Rosmini said, ‘great people make other people great’. Etheldreda founded a monastery of men and woman, which she governed as abbess, on the site of what is Ely cathedral. She died there in 679. After sixteen years of her burial at the request of her sister Sexburg the then abbess, her grave was opened and found her body free from corruption. This added to her holiness and the virtue of her virginity. She was the most venerated of the women saints of Anglo Saxon England. She was renowned for her dedication to a life of chastity and austere life she lived in love for her God. We ask her prayers for our parish and for all the faithful who come to this ancient chapel dedicated to St Etheldreda’s name.

St Etheldreda Newsletter
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