Posted by: anna | March 6, 2010

St Erkengota of Faremoutiers

Today (21 February) we commemorate St Erkengota, abbess of Faremoutiers. From Miss Dunbar:

St. Ercongota, Feb. 2.3 or 26 (EARCONGODA, EARCONGOTHA, EARTONGATHA, EORCUNGODA, ERKONGOTA; in French, ARTHONGATHE, or ARTONGATE). -f- 700. Abbess of Faremoutier. Daughter of Ercombert, king of Kent (640-664), by his wife ST. SEXBURGA, daughter of Anna, king of the East Angles.

As there were few monasteries in England, many of the new Christians learned the rules of monastic life in France, and sent their daughters there to be taught, particularly in the monasteries of Faremoutier and Chelles.

ST. ETHELBURGA was abbess of Faremoutier when her niece Ercongota was sent there as a nun.

Ercongota is described by Bede as a virgin of great virtue, and many wonders are told of her. Her life was passed at Faremoutier, where she became abbess.

Shortly before her death she had a vision of a number of men all in white coming into the convent. She asked what they wanted. They said they had come to fetch the medal of gold which had been brought from Kent. The next day the abbess visited the cells of the infirm, especially the very old and very holy, and humbly commended herself to their prayers. That night she died. Monks in the adjoining houses heard voices, steps, and music, and some of the faithful saw the soul of the saintly abbess carried off by angels.

Holy St Erkengota, pray to God for us.

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