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St. Edburga of Winchester

St. Edburga of WinchesterCommemorated on June 15

St. Edburga of England was born around 920 AD and was the daughter of King Edward the Elder by his third marriage to Lady Edith of Kent. She was the full younger sister of both Kings Edmund the Magnificent and Edred, Unlike her brothers, however, Edburga was destined not for secular but for ecclesiastical greatness.

At the age of only three, the young princess was offered the choice of a small chalice and paten or gold and jewelry. The little girl eagerly took up the chalice and paten and this convinced her father of her ultimate vocation. She was soon placed under the guidance of Abbess Ethelthritha of the Nunnaminster Monastery in Winchester, whose community received endowments and gifts from the grateful king.

St. Edburga became revered 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 the nuns while they slept.

It is not clear whether she eventually became Abbess of the Nunnaminster Monastery, but she was certainly one of its best known nuns.

St. Edburga died at the Abbey in 951 AD. She was buried within the Abbey church and quickly accepted as a saint. Following her canonization in 972, some of her relics were translated to Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire, which is dedicated to her.

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