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Death: 7th Century


Theorigitha served as mistress of novices in the English convent of Barking. The English historian Saint Bede describes her as having spent many years at Barking “humbly and sincerely striving to serve God.” For nine years she suffered from a grave illness that she put to advantage for the purification of her soul. One morning, when exiting her room, she experienced a radiant vision of a shroud-wrapped human form being drawn upward to heaven by golden cords. The vision proved to be a foretelling of the death of the convent’s foundress and abbess, Saint Ethelburga, the cords symbolizing her good works. Ethelburga died only a few days later. When three years afterward Theorigitha was facing her own death, she experienced a vision of the deceased Ethelburga. Upon seeing her, Theorigitha said aloud, “I am so glad that you have come; you are most welcome.” Theorigitha learned from the vision that she was soon to die, and her death came only a day later.


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