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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 2 May =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gennys of Cornwall * St. Germanus of Normandy * St. Gluvias of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2013
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      Celtic and Old English Saints 2 May

      * St. Gennys of Cornwall
      * St. Germanus of Normandy
      * St. Gluvias of Cornwall
      * St. Neachtain
      * St. Ultan of Peronne

      St. Gennys
      Date unknown. Saint Gennys is often confused with Saint Genesius of
      Arles, but the patron of Cornwall has his own feast today, which may
      point to the fact that he is a different individual and an obscure,
      local founder. He may more properly be identified with Saint Genesius
      the Martyr, whose head was translated on July 19 to Lismore. To add to
      the confusion, the famous Germanus of Auxerre is also known as Gennys or
      Genewys (Benedictines, Farmer).

      Saint Genny's Church in Cornwall

      The church is situated in a dell amongst the high cliffs of the North
      Cornish Coast that look over the ever-surging sea- High Cliff to the
      south west towering over "The Haven" is 730 ft high and the tallest in

      This secluded isolated spot so solitary for a parish church is because
      its origins go back to the years of the Celtic Church. Sometime in the
      mid 7th Century a Celtic Monk (hermit) arrived here, on foot or by boat,
      and chose our site for its solitude and its ready supply of water.

      The locals must have been very quickly attracted to the "Holy Man" and
      he in due time taught them the Christian message and baptised them in
      his source of water which became known as "The Holy Well" so the site
      was established as the Holy Place in the locality. A stone cross set up
      close by & a tiny wooden hut for the priest or monk to live in. The
      services would be held in the open air.

      On the right hand -side of the path that leads to the church the green
      drops away steeply. A careful look down and across, or a jaunt over the
      grass will reveal an old well - its is not so long ago the water from
      here was still on domestic use - however this is the spot or very close
      to it where the Holy Well of St Gennys was located. Here from the 600's
      people have been baptised.

      926 - After King Athelstan's final conquest of Cornwall, it is almost
      certain a small Saxon church was built on this site and it is possible
      at this point the dedication to St Genesius probably originates.

      St. Germanus (Germaine) of Normandy, Bishop Martyr
      Died c. 460. It may be hard to believe that someone named Germanus of
      Normandy originated either in Ireland or Wales, but it is true. Today's
      saint was converted by Saint Germanus of Auxerre, whose name he took,
      when the bishop was visiting Britain. Today's saint worked as a bishop
      with Saint Patrick and is alleged to have evangelized in Wales, Spain,
      Gaul, and the Isle of Man. Some regard Germanus as the Apostle of the
      Isle of Man. He was martyred in Normandy (Benedictines, Montague).

      St. Gluvias (Glywys)
      6th century. Saint Gluvias may have been sent to Cornwall by his
      brother, Saint Cadoc of Llancarfan. There he laid the foundation for a
      monastery and a parish commemorates his name (Benedictines).

      The church stands on the site of the hermitage of its patron, Gluvias,
      who belongs to that great tide of saints which swept down from Wales and
      overspilled into Brittany. He is the brother of S.Cadoc, which would
      make him the son of St.Woolos of Newport and St.Gladys, one of the
      daughters of Brychan. St.Petroc, the founder of Padstow and Bodmin, was
      uncle to Cadoc and Gluvias, and St.Keyne would have been their great
      aunt. St.Keyne gives her name to Keynsham between Bristol and Bath and
      to the parish in Cornwall between Looe and Liskeard.

      These family connections are a feature of the Celtic saints, but of
      St.Gluvias himself we know little except that he chose this fertile
      valley for his retreat, famous for its flowers as well as its granite.
      His church looks down over Penryn, which lies at the side of Falmouth,
      and although it is probably older and more distinguished than its
      neighbour, it has not grown so large. It now has no church of its own,
      but once it was a famous place of learning, receiving scholars from
      Oxford to join the canons of its famous Glasney College, founded by
      Bishop Bronescombe. It had a great collegiate church, dedicated to
      St.Thomas of Canterbury, but there are few traces of the church and
      college buildings, which were once "strongly walled".

      Glasney College might have become a university if it had survived the
      sixteenth century, but during the middle ages it had a great influence
      on the life of the Church in Cornwall, and some of the miracle plays in
      Cornish, which were composed there, are extant. Among some of the
      manuscripts that have survived is a reference to St.Gluvias as a martyr,
      but there is no indication of the manner in which he glorified Our Lord
      by his death (Bowen, John, Mee).

      "The Saints of Cornwall" - Catherine Rachel John.

      "The King's England - Cornwall" - Arthur Mee.

      The church of Saint Gluvias in Cornwall
      Present structure dates from1883, with sections from earlier centuries.

      Troparion of St Gluvias Tone 2
      O glorious Father Gluvias,/ thou didst bring the light of Christ to
      Cornwall/ while thy brother holy Cadoc enlightened Wales./ As thou dost
      intercede for all mankind,/ pray to Christ our God to grant us His great

      St. Neachtain
      5th century. Saint Neachtain was present at the death of his near
      relative Saint Patrick of Ireland (Benedictines).

      St. Ultan of Peronne, Abbot Bishop
      Died c. 686. Ultan, an Irish monk like his brothers Saints Fursey and
      Foillan, went with them on a missionary journey to East Anglia. There,
      with Fursey, he founded Burghcastle Monastery near Yarmouth but migrated
      to France and the Abbey of Saint-Quentin, then to Belgium, to escape
      raiding Mercians. His brother Foillan built and became abbot of Fosses
      Monastery on land given to him by Blessed Itta and her daughter Saint
      Gertrude of Nivelles. During this time Ultan was chaplain to Gertrude's
      convent and taught them chant. He succeeded his brother in the abbacy at
      Fosses and later he became abbot of a monastery at Perrone, where he
      died. He was buried in Fosses Abbey (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney,


      Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
      Penguin Books.

      Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
      (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

      Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
      Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

      Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints, NY:
      Doubleday Image.

      Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
      Oxford: Oxford University Press.

      John, C. R. (1981). The Saints of Cornwall
      Lodenek Press Ltd.

      Mee, A. The King's England - Cornwall.
      (41 vols). Hodder & Stoughton.

      Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
      Guildford: Billing & Sons.

      For All the Saints: - new active link

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West - new active link

      These Lives are archived at:
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