Monday, September 12, 2011

A Saxon girl with a will of steel

A drawing of her reliquary - it was discovered in 1885,
buried in the wall of her church
St. Eanswida. They have such strange names for people of our time. It makes them sound so remote. If she were "Meghan," for instance, we could probably relate to her more easily. The name carries a whole culture in its wake.

So does hers.

St. Eanswida was born early in the 600's in what is now Kent in the United Kingdom, "the land of the Angles." Her grandfather converted to the faith at the preaching of St. Augustine of Canterbury, but her father steadfastly resisted. She patiently endured his pagan practices - and his insistence that she marry, but, as daughters will do, managed to get around him. Eventually, he allowed her to become a Benedictine nun and founded a monastery where she lived her life in prayer and work, serving God according to the way of St. Benedict. 

There are twists and turns to her story, which is written much better by others. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates her feast today. She gives a shining example of one who desired to live a religious vocation in a pagan society - and persistently hung on to that call in the face of all opposition. 

Helpful exmple, that one.

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