Posted by: anna | July 26, 2009

St Mildred of Minster in Thanet


St Mildred, abbess of Minster-in-Thanet
Mildred (d. c.700), abbess. A daughter of Merewald, king of Mercia, and Ermenburga, princess of Kent, she was educated at the convent of Chelles, near Paris, to which she had retired to avoid the attentions of an unwelcome suitor. She then returned to become a nun at Minster-in-Thanet. This abbey had been founded by Ermenburga on land provided by Egbert of Kent in compensation for the murder of her brothers Ethelred and Ethelbricht. She became abbess before 694, when she attended a council in Kent. Goscelin (late 11th century) attributed to her the conventional virtues of tranquillity of temper and generosity to the poor, especially widows and children. She died after a long illness; her tomb became a place of pilgrimage. In 1035 her relics were translated to St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, whence some of them were given to Deventer (Holland). However, a rival set of relics was given by Lanfranc to his hospital of St. Gregory, Canterbury. In modern-times a Benedictine nunnery has been revived at Minster by the Benedictines of Eichstatt (Bavaria), founded by Walburga. Feast: 13 July ; translation, 18 May ; also 20 February .

Bibliography
AA.SS. Iul. III (1723), pp.512–23;
N.L.A., ii. pp.193–7;
G.R., i. 267; M. L. Colker, ‘A hagiographic polemic’, Medieval Studies, xxxix (1977), pp.60–108;
D. W. Rollason, The Mildrith Legend (1983);
id. (translation text) in Medieval Studies 48 (1986), pp.139–210.

“Mildred” The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. David Hugh Farmer. Oxford University Press 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. University of Oxford. 27 July 2009

I have long had a liking for and interest in the Anglo-Saxon abbesses, those dedicated and determined women who managed small and beleaguered or large and wealthy institutions in an often difficult and inhospitable country and society – and who yet are piously remembered for their gentleness of spirit. If I come to a sizeable gap in the calendar of British saints, one thing to turn to will be some sort of drawing together of these women. There is a longer life and a stained glass image here at Early British Kingdoms and a mention on the antiochian.org list of women saints. You can see an Old English Life (with translation) here. And the abbey of Ermenburga and Mildred is again home to a community of Benedictine nuns – with strong links to Orthodox communities, no less. I notice they have a guesthouse… another pilgrimage…
Troparion from Acathistes et offices orthodoxes, which also has a photo of her shrine:
Ton 4 Tropaire à sainte Mildred, Higoumène, (Natalice en 700 A.D.)

Fille de la sainte princesse Ermenburge,*

Et du monarque de la Mercie Merewalh,*
Tu fus élevée au couvent sacré de Chelles.*
Saint Théodore te fit moniale à Thanet,*
Dont tu devins un jour la paisible higoumène.*
Sainte Mildred, prie le Christ pour notre salut!
Troparion in Tone 4 to St Mildred, Abbess (+700)
Daughter of the holy princess Ermenburga,
And of the king of Mercia Merewalh,
You were raised in the holy convent of Chelles.
St Theodore made you a nun at Thanet,
Of which house you later became the peaceable abbess.
St Mildred, pray to Christ for our salvation!

Holy Father Justus and Mother Mildred, pray to God for us.
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Responses

  1. I didn't know Mildred was an Orthodox name, very cool.

    Holy St. Mildred and St. Just, pray to God for us


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