St Mildred

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Abbess. This early English saint was the daughter of Merewald, king of Mercia and Ermenburga, princess of Kent.

St Mildred went to a convent school near Paris. Her parents wanted to arrange a marriage for her, but she refused and became a nun at Minster-in-Thanet. The abbey had been built by her mother on land provided by Egbert of Kent in compensation for murdering her brothers.

St Mildred became Abbess around 694. She was known for her tranquil nature and generosity towards the poor, especially women and children - 'a comforter for all in affliction.'

An old story is recorded that one night, while she was praying in the church of her monastery, the devil blew out her candle, but an angel drove him away and relighted it for her.

Before the Reformation her tomb was a place of pilgrimage. There are Benedictine nuns at Minster again today.

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