Saint Frideswithe (Frithuswith) is the Patron of Oxfordshire and Oxford University. She was born c. 650 A.D. to King Didan of Mercia. While still a youth, the princess desired to dedicate her life to her Lord Jesus Christ, becoming a nun and founding St. Mary’s Convent in Oxfordshire with her father’s support. An account of Frideswithe’s life records how, after her parents died while she was still a young nun, she attracted the unwanted attention of King Algar of Leicester. Algar desired the princess despite her vow of celibacy.
Refusing his advances and avoiding an attempted abduction, Frideswithe fled to Thomwry Wood in Birnsey, where she became a hermitess. While in the wilderness, Frideswithe’s prayers to God caused a well to spring forth, its waters becoming the source of many miraculous healings. Later in life, the hermit princess left the wilderness and returned to Oxford where she served as its Abbess until her repose on October 19, 735 A.D. The white cross of St. Frideswithe symbolizes her holiness and purity, while the green represents Oxford’s fields, the blue the waters of the Thames.
Saint Frideswithe is commemorated on October 19/November 1.