Posted by: anna | October 28, 2009

St Thecla of Wimborne, Abbess of Ochsenfurt

Benedictine Abbess of Kitzingen and Ochsenfurt; date of birth unknown; d. at Kitzingen about 790 or later.

St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, kept up a constant intimate correspondence with the community of Wimborne, Dorset, and from the abbess, Tetta, in 748-49, he obtained monastic colonies for Germany. Among these nuns one of the most illustrious for sanctity and learning was Thecla, a relative of St. Lioba, whom she accompanied from Wimborne and under whose rule she lived for some time at Tauberbischofsheim, until St. Boniface appointed her abbess of the newly founded abbey at Ochsenfurt. Later, on the death of St. Adelheid, or Hadelonga, the foundress and first Abbess of Kitzingen on the Main, she was called to rule that abbey while still retaining the government of Ochsenfurt.

…Among Boniface’s letters is one addressed to Lioba, Thecla, and Cynehilde, as the heads of separate religious communities. Its tone reveals how far the nuns had entered as intelligent fellow-labourers into his apostolate. St. Boniface seems to have had a threefold purpose in summoning these Anglo-Saxon nuns as his auxiliaries: to propagate the full observance of the Benedictine Rule by new foundations; to introduce it into already founded monasteries, and to restore its observance in others; and finally to bring their gentle influence to bear on the fierce Teuton women, both by example and by the education imparted to their children.

The ruined Chapel of St. Thecla, on an islet in the Severn, may have been dedicated to her, as Walstod, a Saxon bishop, was set over that part at this time.

– from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1911)

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