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St. Ethelburga of Faremoutier-en-Brie,
Abbess of Faremoutier-en-Brie

(Died 664)

Princess Ethelburga was one of the saintly daughters of Anna, King of East Anglia. She was probably illegitimate and her half-sisters were SS. Sexburga, Etheldreda, Withburga and Saethrith. With the latter, she was sent to the monastery of Faremoutier, in Brie (France), to be educated. Here Ethelburga took the veil and, eventually, succeeded her sister as abbess. While she was abbess, she began to build, in her monastery, a church in honour of all the apostles where she wished to be buried. Though she died on 7th July AD 664 before the building was finished, she was buried where she desired. After her death, the building was left untouched for seven years. Then the brothers of the monastery, instead of building this church, decided to move Ethelburga's bones to a building which had already been consecrated. On opening the tomb, the body of the saint was found so fresh that they had it washed and dressed, and removed to the church of St. Stephen.

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

 

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