Sexburga, queen, Abbess of Ely, 699
6 July

Sexburga, a sister of Etheldreda, was married at an early age, c.640, to Eorcenbert, the king of Kent, and they had two sons and two daughters. Her husband died after 24 years, and Sexburga acted as regent until their eldest son was old enough to rule. She then founded a convent at Sheppey of which her daughter Ermenilda became abbess, whilst she took the veil at Ely under her sister Etheldreda. On Etheldreda’s death in 679, she became abbess of Ely, and in 695 was responsible for the translation of her sister’s body into the church. Having ruled Ely for 20 years she died on this day in 699 and her body was placed next to her sister’s, where it too became a centre of pilgrimage until the destruction of the shrines at the Reformation.

If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, the propers for 23 June may be used.

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