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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Alfrida, Saint

Virgin, and recluse, c. 795

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Alfrida, Saint, virgin, and recluse, c. 795. This saint, whose name is variously written Elfthritha, Aelfleda, Aelfthryth, Alfritha, Etheldreda, etc., was a daughter of King Offa of Mercia. According to a late and not very trustworthy legend she was betrothed to St. Ethelbert, King of the East Angles, but when he came to the court of Offa to claim her, he was treacherously murdered by the contrivance of Cynethritha, Offa‘s queen. After this Alfrida retired to the marshes of Crowland, where she was built into a cell and lived as a recluse to the end of her days. It is impossible not to suspect the existence of some confusion with Aelfleda, another daughter of Offa, whose husband was also murdered by treachery.

HERBERT THURSTON


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