St. Ursula
(Born c.AD 305)
(Welsh: Ursula; Latin: Ursula; English: Ursula)

Although there are no ancient dedications to her in Britain, Ursula is said to have been a British princess. According to legend, after her father, 'King' Donaut, agreed to her marriage with Governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica (Brittany), she set sail to join him along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens. However, a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, where Ursula declared that, before her marriage, she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. Together, the British maidens headed for Rome where Ursula persuaded Pope Cyriacus and Sulpicius, Bishop of Ravenna to join her happy band of followers. She was later welcomed Pantulus, Bishop of Basle & Jaques, Bishop of Li├Ęge, and 'King' Ethereus arrived from Britain with Prince Conan. The two were apparently married immediately and Ursula must have become pregnant soon afterwards for legend attributes a son to them. Eventually, the party set out for Cologne which was being besieged by Huns. In a dreadful massacre, the Huns beheaded all the virgins and, with bow & arrow, their leader shot St. Ursula dead. She and her virgin followers were buried in Cologne where the cathedral is dedicated to her. Conan, her husband, apparently survived.

Records of St. Ursula date back to the 4th century but she is not named until the 9th century. She is almost certainly legendary.

 

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