A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Pandwina of Etisley (Pendwynn, Pandonia). Feast Day for Ninth-Century virgin martyr Scots princess, a nun at Eltesley four miles from Saint Neots in the old county of Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire), where the Thirteenth-Century Anglican parish church was dedicated to her, St John the Baptist later being added to the dedication. The Sixteenth-Century English traveller, poet and antiquary John Leland, the father of English local history and bibliography, in his Itinerary records that she fled an undesirable marriage and sought sanctuary in Eltesley with a kinswoman who was Prioress of one of the oldest convents of Benedictine nuns in England. Pandwina lived the holy life of an anchoress, died in 904 and was buried near the miraculous Saint Pandonia’s Well in Eltisley. The convent was lost during the Norman Conquest and in 1344 Pandonia’s remains were translated to the parish church, where many cures were reported before they were lost. Leland repeats the lessons used by the parish priest at her translation and Pandwina was included in a litany in a breviary produced in Flanders for English use that is now at the Saint Peter Hungate Museum in Norwich. Saint Pandonia’s Well, an important local source of water, was destroyed in 1576 by a post-Reformation card-playing Elizabethan rector, who also decapitated the effigies inside the church. In 1623, Oliver Cromwell’s sister was married in the church, which suffered further damage from Reformers and Puritans. Alternative Feast Day 8 September. Image: insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings.com.
Santa Teresa de Jesús (Teresa Jornet Ibars OCDS) (1843-97). Feast Day commemorating the death of the rural Catalonian professed religious who at 19 became a teacher at Lerida. As a child, she had demonstrated a strong concern for the plight of the poor in her area and often took them to the home of her aunt so that proper aid could be provided to them. Feeling called to the monastic life, Ibars applied in 1868 for admission to the Poor Clares near Burgos but the anti-clerical laws at the time prevented her from embracing the religious life and so in 1870 she became a member of the Secular Carmelites. On the advice of her spiritual director, she decided to launch her own religious congregation, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and in 1872 opened their first house, taking the religious name Teresa of Jesus in honour of the Sixteenth-Century Teresa of Ávila. She was vested in the habit in 1873 and appointed the congregation’s first superior, when the motherhouse opened in Valencia in 1873. She was confirmed as the superior in 1875 and made her perpetual profession in 1877 when appointed as the superior general for the entire order, her dedication to the old and ill being notable, as was the work of her sisters. Cholera broke out in Spain in 1897 and Teresa tended to the victims before she retired exhausted to the order’s house at Liria 30 km north of Valencia, where she remained for the next few months. She died from tuberculosis there on 26 August 1897, when the congregation was known as the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Age and had more than fifty houses. Her remains were translated to Valencia in 1904 and reinterred there in 1913. There are now more than 2,000 religious in a total of 204 houses throughout 21 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Patron of old age in Spain, the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly, elderly people, people rejected by religious orders. Image: youtube.com.
St Bregwin (Bregowine, Breguivine) (d764). Feast day commemorating the noble Mercian Anglo-Saxon who converted to Christianity and was the twelfth Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Cuthbert in 760. Bregwin’s election took place during a brief period when Kent was free from Mercian dominance between 756 and 764, when he had contact with Archbishop St Lullus of Mainz. Many of the early charters of the Diocese of Canterbury were destroyed at the Reformation but, as Archbishop, Bregowine protested at the loss of a church at Cookham that was confiscated by King Cynewulf of Wessex but gifted land in Canterbury to a thegn (thane, retainer) of his sponsor, King Æðelberht (Æthelbert) of Kent. When Bregowine died on 25 August 764, he was buried in the baptistry in Canterbury, his remains being translated to the choir of the rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral in 1123. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic Churches, Anglican Communion. Image: www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com.