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St. Edburga of Winchester
(c.AD 921-AD 960)

Born: c. AD 921, probably in Winchester, Hampshire
Died: 15th June AD 960 in Winchester, Hampshire


Princess Edburga of England was the daughter of King Edward the Elder by his third marriage to Lady Edith of Kent, friend and supporter of St. Dunstan. She was the full younger sister of both Kings Edmund the Magnificent and Eadred All-Fair. Unlike her brothers, however, Edburga was destined not for secular but for ecclesiastical greatest.

At the age of only three, it is said the young princess was offered the choice of a small chalice and paten or gold and jewellery. The little girl eagerly took up the former and thus convinced her father of her ultimate vocation. She was soon placed under the educational charge of a Royal cousin, Abbess Etheldritha of the Nunnaminster in Winchester, whose community received endowments and gifts from the grateful monarch. As King Edward had foreseen, his daughter became reverred for her holiness even within her own lifetime. She was loved by all her contemporaries for her gentleness and humility. She even washed the socks of her fellows by night. It is not clear whether she eventually became Abbess of the Nunnaminster herself, but she was certainly one of its best known nuns. Edburga died at the Abbey, probably around AD 960 (though possibly as early as AD 951). She was only about thirty at the time. She was buried within the Abbey church and quickly accepted as a saint, though some of her relics were later translated to Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire. Edburga's feast is celebrated in 15th June.

 

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