Werburgh, Abbess of Mercia

Werburgh, a princess of Mercia, exchanged her coronet for a veil early in life and became a great foundress and leader of monastic communities in East Anglia and Mercia.  Her greatness in life is reflected in her veneration in death.  Her holy body, jealously guarded by her monastic community in Triccingham, was given up through a miracle when the locks fell away and she was borne by monks to Hanbury, her desired resting place.  But it was Aethelflaed – Lady of the Mercians – who most likely delivered her relics to Chester – the city of her patronage – and established her veneration in Shrewsbury.  In Chester she delivered the city from fire and perils inflicted by barbarian invaders.  In Shrewsbury her veneration was joined with that of the royal saints Alchmnund and Milburga to offer the town protection against the heathen Viking invaders.  Her chapel in Shrewsbury is long gone but her memory has been recently restored.  She now joins other local saints on the walls of the Orthodox Church of the 318 Godbearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, Shrewsbury in a beautiful roundels by master iconographer Aidan Hart.  She helps unite the community in renewed veneration. The British who have found a home in Orthodoxy honour her as a predecessor linking them to the undivided Church in these lands. The people who have settled here with roots in traditional Orthodox countries now adopt her as a local patron as her way of life mirrors that of their own saints from the East. Read on for a wonderful history of the saint researched and offered by Chris Jobson – the history is presented here as an offering to accompany Aidan Hart’s splendid work.

Read more about the life of the saint on our webpage

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