The monastery was on the Isle of Thanet, and St. Theodore of Canterbury welcomed her into the community, where she eventually rose to the position of abbess. Mildred was known for her tremendous piety, generosity, and sympathy for the destitute and rejected. She died about the year 700. The monastery was destroyed during the invasion by the Danish prince Sweyn when he seized the island in 913.
Thanet Island is a large island off the southern coast of England. It is part of Kent County Council area and lies between Ramsgate to the north and Faversham to the south. The island covers an area of 21.5 square miles and has a population of about 175,000 people. Most of Thanet is rural but there are several small towns on the island: Ramsgate, Margate, Westgate-on-Sea, and Broadstairs. There are also two cities that are part of Kent: London and Dover.
The monastery was first established around 600 near Paris, but was forced to move to England after being attacked by Viking pirates. They finally settled on Thanet because it was far away from mainland Europe and could serve as a safe refuge for other Christians. The monastery lasted for over 500 years until it was destroyed during the invasion by the Danish prince Sweyn.
There are only a few buildings at Thanet that are more than 100 years old, including the church, which was built in 1868.
The White Lily of Thanet Many miracles have been credited to Mary over the years, and remarkable things continue to be accomplished via her wonderful spirit even today. Thanet's lone patron saint is St Mildred (The White Lily). She was a child who lived in Britain around the time of Christ's death. When she was only twelve years old, she witnessed the death of her father and then her mother. So distressed was she by this tragic event that for several days she would not eat. Finally, her uncle took pity on her and fed her with his own hand. This action made such an impression on young Mildred that when she became a widow later in life, she wept but did not mourn her husband. He had been dead for more than one year.
Mildred then went to live with her brother Bleda who was bishop of Rochester. She remained with him until she was twenty-five years old. During those years, she gained reputation for her holiness and wisdom. Her brother died, and now it was time for Mildred to return home. But first, she asked permission to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury where she was born. The king honored her request, and after visiting the tomb of her father, she continued on to France where she spent three years in prayer and study. At the end of that time, she made the decision to join her brother Bleda in heaven.
During the Synod of Whitby, Saint Hilda was the abbess in charge of the Abbey. This crucial gathering took place in her convent and was summoned to determine the date of Easter. Prior to this encounter, Celtic and Roman Christians observed the feast on various dates. This was a watershed moment in English Christianity. Hilda convinced the bishops that the Celtic church's practice of observing Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox was the correct one and thus established a single date for all England.
Hilda was born around 561 or 562. She was a princess about twenty-five years old when she became abbess of Whitby. Her father was Oswiu, king of Northumbria, and her mother was Eanfleda, daughter of Bernwulf, also a king. She had two siblings: Elgiva, who became queen of Kent, and Wilfrida, who married King Recceswinth of Wessex. Hilda ruled over Whitby for fifteen years and during that time she led many religious reforms at the monastery. When she died in 664, she had become a saint of the Catholic Church.
There is no evidence that Hilda attended any other synods or councils before or after Whitby. It is known that she presided over several important meetings within her convent and established a single date for Easter, but beyond that there is no record of her involvement in any other event.
According to Hippolytus of Rome, the saint died in Jerusalem of old age. Empress Helena, Emperor Constantine I's mother, is supposed to have carried the saint's relics to Italy. The Abbey of Santa Giustina kept a portion of these relics, while the Abbey of St. Matthias housed the remainder.
In 988, Pope John XIX sent missionaries to Palestine to seek out additional relics of Saint Matthias. They found some bones at Bethlehem that were believed to be those of the saint and brought them back to Europe. In 1005, Pope Pascal II ordered that both sets of relics be placed in two golden coffins and sent to France. These relics are now preserved in the Cathedral of Metz.
The original location of the remains of Saint Matthias is unknown but they are presumed to be in Metz. Some scholars believe that there may be a second set of relics in Germany that are not in a church but rather under an ancient oak tree on a farm near Leipzig. However, this has never been confirmed by any authorities inside or outside of France.
Matthias was born in Upper Moesia (present-day Serbia) in about 240 AD. He was baptized as a child and raised by devout Christians who had come from abroad. When he became a priest, Matthias traveled around his native country preaching the Gospel and healing people. He also fought against paganism with great courage.
This holy virgin and martyr, St Agatha, is revered by both the Greek and Latin Churches, and while her original Acts have not been preserved, many well-authenticated details about her martyrdom can be found in the Bollandists, Surius, and others. St. Agatha was born in Sicily and came from a noble and affluent family. She married at an early age and had two children before being forced to divorce her husband because he would not allow her to follow Christ. After her divorce, she refused to return to her former life as a courtesan and lived instead as a nun in a monastery for young women who were wishing to become nuns. She died at the age of 31 after being tortured with flames to force her to renounce her faith.
In addition to being venerated as a saint, St. Agatha is also celebrated as a martyr. Her story is told in several places in the Bible: "And there was also a young woman named Agatha, which meant 'well-done'... And when they had mocked her, they burned her alive." (Ac 12:18, 21). It is said that her death occurred on March 11th but this date is not confirmed by canon law.
She spent her life in service of Jesus Christ and revealed herself to be one of the most virtuous and pious women of her time. Today, she is honored by Catholics throughout the world on her day, November 11th.
The main church was completed between 548 and 565, and the monastery quickly became a popular pilgrimage destination for lovers of Catherine and the other relics and religious locations on the grounds. Saint Catherine's Monastery has survived and is now a well-known storehouse of early Christian art, architecture, and illuminated manuscripts available to visitors and visiting researchers. It is one of the most important cultural centers in Russia.
Saint Catherine's Mount, the site of the monastery, is part of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The location was important in early Christianity because it is here that Catherine bar Kokkinosola (or Katherine, as she is more commonly known in English) was converted to Christianity by an angel named Mark. Her story is told in the Bible's New Testament chapter 13.
Catherine was born into a wealthy family who were members of the Byzantine Empire. She married at age 19 but her husband died within a year of their marriage. Distraught by this sudden loss, Catherine decided to dedicate her life to God. She traveled to Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) where many social events took place, such as parties with dancing for which she was famous. In 545, she went to Egypt to visit her brother who was the governor of that country at the time. While there, she heard about another young woman in need of help and arranged to travel to her home town of Kition (on the island of Cyprus). Upon arriving there, Catherine found that this new friend had recently died.