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Fursa, St

Fursa, St (d. c.649). Successfully establishing a monastery in Ireland, he left to escape the crowds he attracted, and, crossing to East Anglia c.633, built one near Yarmouth. When he withdrew again, he lived briefly as a hermit before going to Gaul. His monastery at Lagny, east of Paris, was built c.644. He was buried at Peronne, and a foundation developed there known as Perona Scotorum, because it attracted many Irishmen. Fursa's fame, however, rests upon his visions, which informed medieval accounts of the other world. Borne aloft by protecting angels Fursa saw the joys of the blessed, the struggles of evil spirits, the torments of sinners, and the flames destined to consume the world. Touched by a tortured soul, he bore a permanent scar as witness, and it was said that when relating his experience, he sweated profusely, despite bitter winter weather.

Audrey MacDonald

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