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Death: 7th century


Ethelburga, daughter of the English king Anna, and Sethrida, the king’s stepdaughter, entered the French double-monastery of Faremoutier (Brie). Both became abbesses of the convent. The princess Ercongota, daughter of Ethelburga’s sister Saint Sexburga, joined them, becoming “a nun of outstanding virtue,” as Saint Bede describes her. Having learned from a vision that she was soon to die, Ercongota went from room to room visiting the ill nuns of her convent, disclosing to them her approaching end and begging their prayers for her soul. On the night of Ercongota’s death, many monks in the monastery adjacent to her convent heard what sounded like the voices of a choir of angels and the din of a throng entering the convent. Upon going outside to find out what was happening, the monks observed a light descending upon the convent from heaven. When three days after Ercongota’s burial her tomb was re-opened, a balm-like fragrance emanated from her grave. Ercongota’s aunt, Ethelburga, was revered for her great purity. Ethelburga’s body was found to be incorrupt seven years after her death.


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