Saint Ursula was a British Saint who lived in Roman Britain and was the daughter of a powerful leader or king. Many signs and miracles accompanied her entry into the world and she was at one point compared to Saint John the Baptist due to the fascinating occurrences at her birth.
Her childhood and infancy were graced with piety, devotions and zeal for the Catholic Faith in Roman Britain. She was deeply devoted to Our Lord and lived a life of holy prayer, preferring to go alone so as to meditate and pray.
Saint Ursula’s reputation as a beautiful, holy princess actually spread beyond her country and abroad. When a certain foreign king learned of her attributes he organised a royal envoy to meet with Saint Ursula’s father. A marriage was arranged and Saint Ursula was given guidance and advice by Our Lord through an angel emissary in a dream.
Thereafter, Saint Ursula decided to make a significant and historical pilgrimage with eleven thousand maidens, holy Catholic priests and a fleet of magnificent ships, in order to venerate the sacred sites of Our Lord in Jerusalem before her marriage.
The sight of such an incredible voyage made a great impression upon those who saw it pass. The atmosphere on board the vessels was one of witness to the Catholic Faith; a true pilgrimage of glory to God, with hymns, prayers and the offering of the inconveniences of travel.
The pilgrimage did not make Jerusalem, however, but came in contact with the Huns, who at that time were a formidable and frightening presence in Europe. Saint Ursula took an impressive stand against the Hun leaders who attacked the fleet and attempted to convert the pilgrims.
Saint Ursula became a legend for boldly proclaiming the Gospel in the face of threat and death. She was martyred for the Catholic Faith alongside her eleven thousand maidens in Cologne where a magnificent Cathedral, visited by Pope Benedict XIV for World Youth Day in 2005, stands and houses many beautiful reliquaries containing the bones of Saint Ursula and her martyred companions.
The Catholic Church speaks of Saint Ursula and the eleven thousand virgins as follows: “At Cologne in Germany, commemoration of virgin saints who ended their life in martyrdom for Christ in the place where afterwards the city’s basilica was built, dedicated in honour of the innocent young girl Ursula who is looked on as their leader.”
Saint Ursula has been venerated in the Catholic Church for 1500 years, with many Saints composing hymns in her honour. Angela Merici founded the Order of Ursulines and there are numerous works of art commemorating tis great Saint of the Church. Although somewhat ignored or forgotten as a legend, her life is a clear and inspiring witness to the Faith today.
Learn about the inspiring life and pilgrimage in honour of Our Lord undertaken by this early British Saint in a film that has been internationally praised for not only presenting information, details and facts but a prayerful and spiritual film experience.