Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Modwena, a Noble Irish Virgin

Saint ModwennaArticle

Having led a religious life several years in her own country, she came into England in the reign of King Ethelwolf, about the year 840. That pious and great king being acquainted with her sanctity, committed to her care the education of his daughter Editha, and founded for her the monastery of Pollesworth, near the forest of Arden, in Warwickshire, which flourished till the dissolution, bearing usually the name of Saint Editha, its patroness and second abbess. Saint Modwena had before established two famous nunneries in Scotland, one at Stirling, the other in Edinburgh. She made some other pious foundations in England; but to apply herself more perfectly to the sanctification of her own soul, she led during seven years an anchoretical life in an isle in the Trent, which was called Andresey from the apostle Saint Andrew, in whose honour she procured her oratory to be dedicated. When the great abbey of Burton-upon-Trent was founded in the year 1004, it was dedicated under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin and Saint Modwena, and was enriched with the relics of this saint, which were translated thither from Andresey; whence Leland calls the monastery of Burton Modwenestow.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Modwena, a Noble Irish Virgin”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 May 2017. Web. 13 July 2020. <>