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St. Ethelrid

( Originally Published 1883 )



The body of the holy virgin Ethelrid, spouse of Christ, when her grave was opened, being brought into sight, it was found as free from corruption as if she had died and been buried on that very day, as Bishop Wilfrid and many others that know it can testify. But the physician Cinfred, who was present at her death and when she was taken up out of the grave, was wont of more certain know-ledge to relate that in her sickness she had a very great swelling under her jaw, " And I was ordered," said he, " to lay open that swelling to let out the noxious matter in it, which I did, and she seemed to be somewhat more easy for two days, so that many thought she might recover from her distemper ; but the third day the former pains returning, she was soon snatched out of the world, and exchanged all pain and death for everlasting life and health. And when, so many years after, her bones were to be taken out of the grave, a pavilion being spread over it, all the congregation of brothers were on the one side and of sisters on the other, standing about it singing, and the abbess with a few being gone to take up and wash the bones.

" On a sudden, we heard the abbess within loudly cry out, Glory be to the name of the Lord.' Not long after they called me in, opening the door of the pavilion, where I found the body of the holy virgin taken out of the grave and laid on a bed, as if it had been asleep. Then, taking off the veil from the face, they also showed the incision, which I had made, healed up ; so that to my great astonishment, instead of the open, gaping wound with which she had been buried, there then appeared only an extraordinary slender scar, besides, all the linen cloths in which the body had been buried appeared entire and as fresh as if they had been that very day wrapped about her chaste limbs."

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