Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 February – Saint Milburga (Died 715) Abbess

Saint of the Day – 23 February – Saint Milburga (Died 715) Prioress, Abbess, Miracle-worker. Born in the 7th Century England and died in 715 at the Much Wenlock Abbey, Shropshire, England of natural causes. Patronage – of birds. Also known as – Milburg, Milburge, Mildburg, Mildburga, Milburgh. Additional Memorial – 25 June (translation of relics).

Milburga lived when the peoples of Anglo-Saxon England were being converted to Christianity. Of royal birth, Milburga’s family was distinguished by its holiness. She was the daughter of King Merewald of Magonset and his wife, St Ermenburga (alias Aebbe of Minster-in-Thanet) and, therefore, sister of Sts Mildred and Milgitha.

Her father, Merewalh and Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, founded a Monastery on the borders of Wales, under a French Abbess, Liobinde of Chelles. at Wenlock (in Shropshire) in about 670–80. Milburga became its second Abbess, governing a community – a so-called ‘dual house’ – of both Nuns and Monks, who worshipped in separate Churches and would also have had their own dormitories and refectories.

Milburga eventually succeeded Abbess Liobinde of Chellesher in this office. Shortly afterward, a neighbouring Prince attempted to compel her to become his wife and, with that intent, pursued her with an armed force. She fled across a river, which at once rose into an impassable flood and discouraged her pursuers.

Most of what we know about Milburga comes from a ‘Life,’ written in Latin by a Monk called Gocelin in the late 11th Century. It describes Milburga’s miracle-working powers, which included raising the dead. It also recounts how, through Milburga’s prayers, geese which were destroying the Abbey’s corn were banished, never to return. Because of this, Milburga is depicted in art as an Abbess accompanied by geese or other wild birds.

A poor widow came to her in her oratory, bringing the body of her little dead son. Throwing herself at the feet of the abbess, she besought her to raise the child to life. “You must be mad!” exclaimed Milburga, “How can I raise your child? Go and bury him and submit to the bereavement sent to you by God!”. “No,” said the sorrowing mother, “I will not leave you until you give me back my son!” The Abbess prayed over the little corpse and, while doing so, she suddenly appeared to the poor supplicant to be raised from the earth and surrounded by lovely flames – the living emblem of the fervour of her prayer. Within a few minutes, the child had recovered.

Unsurprisngly, Milburga was immediately regarded as a Saint after her death in 715. Her remains were buried in the Nuns’ Church at Wenlock. By the 11th Century, this had fallen into ruins and the location of Milburga’s grave forgotten.

The Ruins of St Milburga’s Priory at Wenlock, Shropshire

Between 1080–82, a community of Cluniac Monks settled at Wenlock, building their Church on the site of the former Anglo-Saxon one. Soon after 1100, boys playing amid the ruins of the ancient Nuns’ Church fell into a tomb where the bones of Milburga were rediscovered. Esteemed as holy Relics, these were solemnly enshrined in the Monks’new Church. Numerous miracles were attributed to them, including the healing of lepers and the curing of the blind.

The Cluniac Monastery at Wenlock was dedicated to St Milburga and St Michael, both of whom were depicted on the Priory’s seal. Feasts, or holy days, in honour of St Milburga are celebrated by the Monks on 23 February and 25 June.

St Milburga Patchwork Collage at St Milburga Parish, Shropshire


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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