mercredi 15 juin 2016

Sainte EDBURGA de WINCHESTER, abbesse bénédictine

Sainte Edburga 

Abbesse de Winchester 

28/06 - 15/06

Morte en 960. Sainte Edburga fut une grande-fille du roi Alfred et la fille d'Edouard l'Ancien. On rapporte que, bien qu'étant encore jeune enfant, son royal père lui offrit un précieux bijoux dans une main, et un habit pénitentiel dans l'autre. Edburge choisit avec joie ce dernier. Suite à cela, ses parents la firent entrer au couvent de Sainte Marie, qui avait été fondé par la veuve d'Alfred, Alswide, à Winchester, et achevé par son père, et placé sous la direction de sainte Etheldred. Ayant terminé son éducation, Edburge devint moniale et plus tard abbesse de la fondation. Après le décès d'Edburge suite à une fièvre, l'évêque Saint Ethelwold plaça ses restes dans une riche châsse, que l'abbesse sainte Elfleda recouvrit d'or et d'argent. Quand le comte Egilwald de Dorsetshire rechercha des reliques pour sa nouvelle fondation de Pershore dans le Worcestershire après le pillage par les Danois, l'abbesse lui donna une partie du chef d'Edburge, plus d'autres ossements, qui furent placés dans un riche coffret. Elle était particulièrement vénérée à Pershore dans le Worcestershire, où ces reliques étaient enchâssées et où nombre de miracles eurent lieu.

Saint Edburgh of Winchester

Also known as
  • Eadburh
  • Edburga

Daughter of King Edward the Elder and Edgiva of Kent; grand-daughter of King Alfred the Great. As a child she was placed in the convent of Nunnaminster, Winchester, England, which King Alfred’s widow had founded. She lived her whole life there, a holy nun and abbess.

Edburga of Winchester, OSB V Abbess (AC)

Died 960. Saint Edburga was a granddaughter of King Alfred and the daughter of Edward the Elder. It is reported that, while she was still a young child, her royal father offered her precious jewels in one hand and a penitential habit in the other. Edburga chose the latter joyfully. At that her parents placed her in Saint Mary's Convent, which was founded by Alfred's widow, Alswide, at Winchester, finished by her own father, and placed under the direction of Saint Etheldreda. Having finished her education, Edburga became a nun and later the abbess of the foundation. After Edburga died of a fever, Bishop Saint Ethelwold placed her remains in a rich shrine, which Abbess Saint Elfleda covered with gold and silver. When the Earl Egilwald of Dorsetshire sought relics for his newly rebuilt foundation of Pershore in Worcestershire after its pillage by the Danes, the abbess give him part of Edburga's skull, some of her ribs, and other bones, which were enclosed in a rich case. She was especially venerated at Pershore in Worcestershire, where these relics were enshrined and many miracles have taken place, and at Saint Mary's in Winchester (Attwater, Benedictines, Husenbeth).

Saint Edburgh (also Edburga, Eadburga) is commemorated on December 13/26. She was a princess from the royal house of Wessex. From childhood Edburgh wished to dedicate her life to the service of God. She was noted for her extraordinary intellectual abilities and thirst for knowledge. Her spiritual friend, mentoress and predecessor was St. Mildred. The tradition holds that Edburgh eventually became the third abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, ruling the convent for some 35 years (probably from 716 to 751). St. Edburgh for many years was a friend and correspondent of St. Boniface, the English Apostle to the German Lands (c. 675-754), whom she met during her early pilgrimage to Rome. Edburgh was one of the talented English nuns of the age who supported the mission of Boniface to Germany. It is known that Edburgh was a skilled calligrapher and scribe. Thus, once at the request of Boniface the holy abbess copied some manuscripts and sent them to him for his use: among them were the Acts of Martyrs and the Epistles of Apostle Peter, written in golden letters. Once the abbess sent him 50 pieces of gold and a carpet, a sign of generosity confirming her lineage to the royal family. Some while later the holy Bishop Lull of Mainz, helper of St. Boniface, sent her spices and a silver stylus (a writing implement) as presents.

In Minster Edburgh rebuilt the convent for her nuns and built a new abbey church dedicated to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (patrons of a whole host of early English churches) in which she placed the precious relics of her spiritual mother, St. Mildred. The holy maiden of Christ also secured several royal charters with privileges for her convent. Under St. Edburgh Minster may well have controlled half of Thanet. After many years of unceasing labors the holy abbess reposed in the Lord peacefully in 751. Her relics were enshrined inside the church, and very many cases of healing miracles from her shrine were reported. Later, in the eleventh century, the relics of St. Edburgh and a portion of the relics of St. Mildred were translated to the Hospital of St. Gregory in Canterbury where their veneration continued. Notably, the early English Church can boast five female saints with the name “Edburgh”. In addition to Edburgh of Minster, there were Edburgh of Bicester (mid-seventh century. Part of her shrine exists in the Church of the Archangel Michael in the village of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire), Edburgh of Lyminge (a nun of the seventh century), Edburgh of Repton (during whose abbacy St. Guthlac of Crowland became a monk at her double monastery) and Edburgh of Winchester (a nun and wonderworker, granddaughter of Alfred the Great, who reposed in 960 and was venerated in Winchester in Hampshire, Westminster in London, and at Pershore in Worcestershire).

St. Edburga of Winchester

(c.AD 920-960)

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

At the age of only three, it is said the young princess was offered the choice of a small chalice and paten or gold and jewellery. The little girl eagerly took up the former and thus convinced her father of her ultimate vocation. She was soon placed under the educational charge of a Royal cousin, Abbess Ethelthritha of the Nunnaminster in Winchester, whose community received endowments and gifts from the grateful monarch. As King Edward had foreseen, his daughter 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 her fellows by night. It is not clear whether she eventually became Abbess of the Nunnaminster herself, but she was certainly one of its best known nuns. Edburga died at the Abbey, probably around AD 960 (though possibly as early as AD 951). She was only about thirty at the time. She was buried within the Abbey church and quickly accepted as a saint, though some of her relics were later translated to Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire. Edburga's feast is celebrated in 15th June.