Menology of England and Wales – Saint Pega, Virgin, c.720

Saint Pega of PeakirkArticle

Pega was sister of Saint Guthlac. Drawn, it would seem, by the tie of natural affection, she followed her brother and dwelt near the spot where the river Welland flowed into the open water, opposite his solitude in the Isle of Croyland. During the fifteen years of his retirement she never saw his face, but she was not forgotten. The day before Saint Guthlac’s death, his disciple and then sole companion, Beccelm (who himself narrated these events to the Saint’s biographer), entering the little oratory about midday, found Guthlac too ill to speak. But at length recovering somewhat, and raising himself a little, “My son,” he said, “listen well to my last behests, for my time draws short. When the spirit shall have left this body, go to my sister Pega, tell her that in this world I have avoided seeing her, that we may meet for eternity before our Father in everlasting joy. Bid her too come, and herself place my body in the tomb.” By and by, pressed by Beccelm, Guthlac told him of the long, continuous ministry of angels with which he had been divinely favoured, adding, “Tell this to none but Pega and the hermit Egbert”. Next day Guthlac died soon after sunrise; and Beccelm took his boat and set off to fulfil his master’s last commands. On hearing the news of her brother’s death, Pega, overcome by sudden grief, fell stricken to the ground; after some time, recovering herself, she gave God thanks, yet with many sighs, for His heavenly providence. The day following, Thursday, she went with Beccelm to Croyland; the next three days she spent in commending her brother’s soul to God, and then she committed his remains to the earth, according to his request Her affection and devotion were not yet satisfied. On the anniversary of his death, in the presence of bishops, priests, and monks, brought together by her entreaties, Guthlac’s grave was opened. The body was found intact and fresh as though in life; his winding-sheet and garments were bright and spotless. The beholders, full of astonishment and fear, knew not what to say or do, except Pega, who, with joy and thanksgiving, directed the open grave to be filled and her brother’s relics to be placed in a tomb above ground. For some time she remained as their custodian, receiving those persons who came to the island to seek the aid of the Saint, and witnessing the divine favours obtained by his intercession. Shortly afterwards King Ethelbald founded a monastery at Croyland and replaced the humble wooden oratory by a noble basilica. Saint Pega-, like so many other English men and women of her time of all degrees, now went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostles to pray for herself and hers, and in Rome she died and was buried. In England her memory was perpetuated by the foundation of a monastery on the site of her cell, which took the name of Pegakirk, now Peakirk, in Northamptonshire, and her feast was observed in the Abbey of Croyland.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Stanton. “Saint Pega, Virgin, c.720”. Menology of England and Wales, 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 April 2015. Web. 28 October 2016. <>