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St. Sebbi of Essex

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Facts

Death: 694
Sebbi was king of England's East Saxons. His contemporary Saint Bede describes him as a "soldier of the heavenly kingdom" who "preferred a retired, monastic life to all the riches and honors of a kingdom," devoting himself to "religious exercises, frequent prayer, and acts of mercy." He even had a mind to abdicate his throne and become a monk, but his wife would hear none of it, unwilling to be separated from him. Nonetheless, when after thirty years as king Sebbi fell gravely ill, he advised his wife that they should both devote their remaining time to God. His wife thereupon consented to let him spend his final days in a monastery. He died peacefully three days after experiencing a vision that had foretold the day of his death. At Sebbi's burial, his body was found to be too long to fit in the stone sarcophagus prepared for him. An attempt to solve the problem by chiseling the inside of the stone coffin ended in failure. But as the matter was being considered, suddenly and inexplicably, the sarcophagus was found to be more than long enough for Sebbi's body, a marvel personally witnessed by a bishop and by Sebbi's son, Sighard.

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