Died about 699. Her sisters, Sts. Ethelburga and Saethrid, were both Abbesses of Faremontier in Brie, St. Withburga was a nun at Ely, and St. Etheldreda became Abbess of Ely. Sexburga was the daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles, and was married about 640 to Earconbert, King of Kent. She lived with her husband for twenty-four years, and by him had two sons, Egbert and Lothar, both successively Kings of Kent, and two daughters, both of whom became nuns and saints : St. Earcongota, a nun of Faremontier, and St. Ermenhild, who married Wulfhere, King of Mercia, and after his death took the veil and became Abbess of Ely. After the death of her husband in 664, Sexburga founded the Abbey of Minster in Sheppey; after a few years there she removed to Ely and placed herself under her sister Etheldreda, then abbess. The "Liber Eliensis" contains the farewell speech made by Sexburga to her nuns at Minster, and an account of her reception at Ely. St. Etheldreda died, probably in 679, and Sexburga was elected abbess. She was still alive and acting as abbess in 695, when she presided at the translation of St. Etheldreda's relics to a new shrine she had erected for her at Ely, which included a sarcophagus of white marble from the ruined city of Grantchester. Sexburga was buried at Ely, near her sister St. Etheldreda and her feast is kept on 6 July. There are several lives of St. Sexburga extant. The one printed in Capgrave, "Nova, Legenda" and used by the Bollandists seems to be taken from the Cotton manuscript (Tib. E. 1) in the British Museum. There is another Latin life in the same collection (Cotton manuscript, Calig. A. 8), but it is so damaged by fire that it is useless. At Lambeth there are fragments of an Anglo-Saxon life ( manuscript 427).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online