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She is little remembered now. Heck, we can’t be certain of the year she died or her feast day. But Saint Thecla of Kitzingen must have been a remarkable abbess.

With other nuns, she left the security of the double monastery at Wimbourne in her native Britain around 748 to cross the Channel and assist St. Boniface in his mission to strengthen Christianity in Francia. Travel in those days meant bad food and the danger of brigands, and women risked being raped.

The destination east of the Rhine had its own problems. In the 770s and after, Saxons to the north were not above burning churches and slaughtering indiscriminately to avenge a previous year’s defeat at the hands of the Franks. However, most of the fighting was to the north, and the Saxons did not attack Thecla’s area during her lifetime.

Boniface must have trusted Thecla a great deal because he put her charge of two abbeys, one at Ochsenfurt and the other at Kitzingen. See English Historical Fiction Authors for more about her.

1904 image of a Benedictine nun

A 1904 image of a Benedictine nun, public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.

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