31 August ~ St. Eanswythe

A Saxon princess who founded a nunnery on the coast near Folkestone, Kent.

She was grand-daughter of King Saint Aethelbert. She is also known as Eanswida, Eanswide, Eanswith. She died August 31, c. 640…

The monastery she founded was destroyed by the Danes, but restored by King Athelstan, then refounded in 1095 for the Black Benedictines. Part of it was swallowed up by the sea, and so the community was moved to Folkestone. Her relics were translated to the church built by Eadbald in honor of Saint Peter, but later known as Saints Mary and Eanswyth. In 1885, a Saxon coffer was found in the north wall containing the bones of a young woman, which were assumed to be those of the saint.

In art, Saint Eanswyth is portrayed as a crowned abbess with a book and two fish. She is venerated at Folkestone, where her image is incorporated on its seals.

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