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St. Ercongota,
Abbess of Faremoutier-en-Brie

(Died AD 700)

Princess Ercongota was the daughter of Erconbert, King of Kent and his wife, St. Sexburga, the daughter of King Anna of East Anglia. As there were few monasteries in England, many of the new Christians learned the rules of monastic life in France and sent their daughters there to be taught, particularly in the monasteries of Faremoutier-en-Brie and Chelles. When Princess Ethelburga of East Anglia was Abbess of Faremoutier, her niece Ercongota was sent there as a nun. Bede describes her as a virgin of great virtue, and many wonders are told of her. Her life was passed at Faremoutier, where she eventually became abbess also. Shortly before her death, she had a vision of a number of men, all in white, coming into the convent. She asked what they wanted. They said they had come to fetch the medal of gold which had been brought from Kent. The next day, the abbess visited the cells of the infirm, especially the very old and very holy, and humbly commended herself to their prayers. That night - 26th February AD 700 - she died; and monks in the adjoining houses heard voices, steps and music, and some of the faithful saw the soul of the saintly abbess carried off by angels.

Edited from Agnes Dunbar's "A Dictionary of Saintly Women" (1904).

 

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