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St. Etheidreda

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Feastday: June 23

Benedictine abbess, one of the most popular Anglo-Saxon women saints, called also Ethelreda, Audrey, or Editrudis. A daughter of a king of East Anglia, she was sister to Sts. Ethelburga, Erconwald, Sexburga, and Withburga. She was married to Tonbert, prince of the Gryvii tribe, but he allowed her to remain a virgin. When he died after three years, she entered religious life under St. Ebba at Coldingham, England, and then became abbess of the monastery in Ely. Married once more, this time to a local king, she nevertheless remained a virgin and soon returned to the religious life. Her body remained incorrupt after death, and her head is preserved in Ely. She is depicted in liturgical art as an abbess, with a crozier, book, rod, or lily.  


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