Saint Bega

detail of a stained glass window depicting Saint Bega arriving at the site where Saint Bee's Priory would be built; date and artist unknown; Saint Bee's Priory, Cumbria, England; photographed on 25 October 2009 by Dougsim; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Bee
  • Bees
  • Begga
  • Begh
  • Begha



Born to the Irish royalty. Bega’s family arranged her a marriage to the Prince of Norway, but Bega wanted to devote her life and virginity to the Lord, refused the arrangement, and fled; legend says she was carried across the sea to the coast of Cumberland by riding on a clod of earth.

She lived as an anchoress in Cumberland for many years, fed by the birds in the woods. Saint Oswald of Northumbria, on a raid to dispel some highwaymen, convinced her to enter a convent for her own safety. She agreed, and took the veil from Saint Aiden of Lindesfarne.

Founded a monastery which later was named after her, and around which grew the town of Saint Bee’s Head in Cumberland, England. Abbess. Known for generosity to the poor and oppressed who came to the abbey for assistance. The village of Kilbees, Scotland was also named after her.



  • 681 of natural causes


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Bega“. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 October 2020. Web. 16 May 2021. <>