In the fourth century, pagan Saxons invaded England with the goal of destroying the Catholic faith and violating the purity of all young English virgins. A group of 11,011 young women, including St. Ursula, fled from England to escape this fate, but in 383, all of the women were found slaughtered for their faith.
The martyrdom of St. Ursula and her companions happened in Cologne, Germany, and a shrine is erected there that contains as many of the girls’ bones that could be recovered.
In 1535, St. Angela Merici founded the Order of Ursulines, in honor of St. Ursula. The order is devoted to the education of young girls, and has helped spread devotion to St. Ursula across the world.
St. Ursula is the patroness of Catholic education, especially of girls, Cologne, educators, holy death, schoolchildren, students, and teachers. She is often depicted in art as a maiden shot with arrows.