Pega

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Pega (c. 673-c.719), is a Christian saint who was an anchoress in the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and the sister of Saint Guthlac.

Life[edit]

Pega belonged to one of the great noble families of Mercia,[1] the daughter of Penwalh of Mercia.[2] She lived as an anchoress at Peakirk ("Pega's church") in the modern county of Cambridgeshire, not far from Guthlac's hermitage at Crowland. When Guthlac realized that his end was near in 714, he invited her to his funeral. For this she sailed down the River Welland,[1] curing a blind man from Wisbech on the way.[3] She inherited Guthlac's psalter and scourge, both of which, it was claimed, she later gave to Crowland Abbey. She went on pilgrimage to Rome and died there c.719.[1] Ordericus Vitalis claimed that her relics survived in an unnamed Roman church in his day, and that miracles took place there.

It is said that her heart was returned to Peakirk and was kept as a relic in the church, contained in a heart stone, the broken remains of which, smashed by Cromwell's troops, can be seen in the south aisle window.[3]

Sainthood[edit]

The current church in Peakirk is dedicated to Saint Pega

Pega is considered a saint by the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Her feast day is 8 January.[4][5]

References[edit]

  • Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.