Sunday, August 12, 2012

St. Mildred of Minster-in-Thanet

Joyous feast! Today we celebrate the memory of our Holy Mother Mildred, Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet in Kent, a county in southeastern England. St. Mildred was born to the king and queen of Magonset and sent at an early age to Chelles, France, for her education. While there a young nobleman, supported by the abbess of the monastery in Chelles where St. Mildred resided, tried to force the Saint to marry him.

Although she endured great suffering and even tortures at the hands of the abbess St. Mildred remained firm in her refusal, and eventually fled Chelles for England, where she joined the abbey of her mother, St. Ermenburga, in Minster-in-Thanet and was tonsured a nun by Archbishop St. Theodore of Canterbury. After St. Ermenburga's death St. Mildred was elected abbess of Minster-in-Thanet due to the sisterhood's great love for her.

After 38 years as abbess St. Mildred died of a long and painful illness on this day in 732. She became even more popular after her death than she had been in her life, eclipsing even St. Augustine of Canterbury in veneration. In 1033 the Saint's relics were translated to Canterbury, and a portion of her relics were later translated to Deventer in the Netherlands as well. More on her life can be found here. May St. Mildred's blessing and prayers be with us all!

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