Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Wolf and the Lamb

From English Historical Fiction Authors:
The marriage between Wulfhere of Mercia and Ermenilda of Kent was no exception. He was a ruthless king, she a pious princess. Theirs was a union that would strengthen the bonds between kingdoms. Wulfhere was Penda of Mercia’s second son. His father was England’s last pagan king, a powerful warlord feared by his neighbours. Wulfhere followed his elder brother, Paeda, to the throne. Paeda was assassinated shortly after he came to power—many believe by his wife. Wulfhere came out of exile to claim the throne and take it back from Oswiu of Northumbria—restoring the power of Mercia after its disastrous defeat at the Battle of Winwaed. He ruled from 658 AD to his death in 676 AD, and was the first Christian king of Mercia. However, his path away from paganism to Christianity does not appear to have been an easy one. Ermenilda was described as “saintly and beautiful”. She was the daughter of King Eorcenberht of Kent, very pious himself, as was his wife, Seaxburgh. After Wulfhere’s death, Ermenilda was said to have taken the veil and become abbess of Ely, like her mother before her. Later, she was sainted. Ermenilda’s feast day is February 13. (Read more.)

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