Saint Christina of Markyate

Also known as

  • Christina of Markgate
  • Christina Theodora
  • Kristina of Markyate

Memorial

Profile

Born to the Anglo-Saxon nobility, the daughter of Autti, a rich and influential guild merchant. At age 15 she visited Saint Albans Abbey where she made a private vow of celibacy. Her parents opposed her vow, and arranged a marriage for her with a man named Berktred. Christina took her case to Bishop Robert Bloet who initially sided with her, but who was later bribed into changing his ruling.

Christina was betrothed and married against her will, spending the first years of married life as a prisoner, refusing to consummate the union. With the help of a hermit named Eadwin, she escaped, and fled to Flamstead where she lived for two years with an anchoress named Alfwen. She moved to a hermitage at Markyate, Hertfordshire, England in 1118, becoming the spiritual student of the hermit Blessed Roger of Albans.

In 1122, Burktred obtained an annulment from Thurstan, Archbishop of York, England. This and the death of bishop Bloet in 1123 allowed Christina to return to Markyate where she lived the rest of her life.

Her reputation for holiness soon attracted others, and her house became a priory of nuns. She was offered the position of abbess in York, Fontevrault, and Marcigny, but stayed at Markyate.

A skillful needle worker, Christina embroidered mitres and sandals for the English Pope Adrian IV, a former student of Saint Albans. While noted as stable and balanced, she was given to ecstacies and visions.

Born

Died

  • c.1160 at Markyate, Hertfordshire, England of natural causes

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Christina of Markyate”. Saints.SQPN.com. 4 November 2009. Web. 28 August 2014. <http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-christina-of-markyate/>