Saint Radegund* (c.520 587) was a princess of Thuringia (now Germany). She was taken by King Clotaire I to become one of his five wives. Clotaire may have mistreated her, but it was probably her Christian faith and her brother’s murder which prompted Radegund’s escape to join the church. Unusually for a woman at that time, Radegund was literate and became the popular deaconess of a French abbey.
An early vegan, her extreme asceticism may have been her way of gaining control over her life at a time when the destiny and status of women was predetermined by men. Radegund stands out as an intelligent and independent woman. She is also unique in that her sainthood was gained not through martyrdom, as was the case with most holy women of the time, but through her pious and devout life. When the church is open look on the north wall to see the window where she is depicted.
* Radegund is a patron saint of Jesus College, Cambridge and only five parish churches in England are dedicated to her name, ed.