Shropshire Day

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Shropshire Day is February 23rd, the feast day of St Milburga,

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the abbess of Wenlock Priory,

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Shropshire. Hailing from the Mercian subkingdom of Magonsaete, the saint was one of three princesses, likened, on occasion, to the virtues  of faith, hope and charity! Legend recounts that Mildburh was the identified by a local prince as a marriage prospect and that he resolved to have her for his wife, by violent means if necessary. The saint escaped when the river she had crossed swelled to prevent her pursuer! She entered the Benedictine monastery of Wenlock, founded with endowments by her father and her uncle, Wulfhere of Mercia, and eventually rose to become Abess.

Mildburh has been traditionally linked to miraculous abilities such as the gift of healing and sight restoration and is said to have had a mysterious power over birds; they would avoid damaging the local crops when she asked them to! The date of her death is recorded as February 23rd, 715 which has thus been assigned as her feast day. It’s believed that her identity may have been merged with a pre-existing pagan goddess, venerated to afford protection of crops.

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