Event: Advice/counsel, Flight, Hiding/harbouring/sanctuary, Hostility, Marital desertion/separation/repudiation, Miracle, Monastery, violation of, PrayingÆthelthryth 2.fleeing from Ecgfrith 4 and performing miracles

Scholarly Info
Description King Ecgfrith 4, who had long been dedicated to chaste marriage with Æthelthryth 2, did not take kindly to divorce from his beloved spouse, and soon began to be immeasurably sorrowful and grief-stricken. Hence, at the suggestion and instigation of his people, he began to remove her forcibly from the convent, despite the fact that she was under the protection of the veil of holiness. Without delay, he went up to the convent where the holy virgin was living, with fury and hullabaloo, and in a great hurry. On hearing him coming, the mother of the community Æbbe 2, advised her that the only means of safety lay in escape. And, Æthelthryth 2 resolved to take action whereby she might remain a virgin for the rest of her life; nor must she rest until she reached her home in Ely. ... Forthwith, this woman who, the day before yesterday, had been mistress over a kingdom, in contempt of earthly sovereignty, entered the monastic life. ... The king, wishing to take her back as his wife, went into action, not failing to set out in pursuit, in the hope that he might perhaps be able to catch her. But the holy woman, groaning and anxious now with redoubled fear, fled under compulsion from her pleasant hiding place and went forth ... Having secretly made a circuit of the place, she came, accompanied by two handmaidens of God, Sewenna 1 and Sewara 1, to a high hill nearby called Coldeburcheshevet and climbed it. ... The sea, leaving its bed and now pouting forth it waters in many directions, surrounded the place up which the holy virgins had climbed, and, as we have learnt from local inhabitants, kept them hidden for seven days on end, without food or drink, as they took their stand together in prayer, and that ... it forgot how to ebb back in the usual manner, so long as the king remained there, or near the place. ... For a long time they had been on top of the summit of the rock and surrounded on all sides by a multitude of waves, and yet the king had found it quite impossible to find any direction from which to approach them. In the end, however, he retreated from the place marvelling at what had happened, and reduced to stupefaction. He Ecgfrith 4 returned to York and thereafter did not regard the confessor of the Lord, Wilfrid 2, favourably in confidential matters, nor with affection, as he had before, but instead for a considerable while harboured anger against him in his breast, and having bided his time, ejected him – the reason being such as we have described – from his Episcopal see. ... The time came when the nuns of the summit of the rock were beginning to duffer, being exceedingly feverish because of the dryness of thirst, so Æbbe 2 urged Æthelthryth 2 to pray to the Lord Christ ... And as she was most earnestly pouring out her prayer to God ... a spring of water straight away broke forth close to her, sparkling clear, and, in answer to her prayers ... the dry rock gushed forth what it did not naturally contain: water which was sufficient for the nuns’ use and did not fail to supply their needs.
Primary Source Info

Persons associated with this Event:

Locations associated with this Event: