Saturday, June 04, 2005

Happy St Petroc's Day

"The abbot Petroc is probably Cornwall’s best-known saint. He was a native of South Wales, and lived in the 6th. century. He arrived in Cornwall at Hayle and founded a monastery at a spot later called Petroc’s Stow, i.e. Padstow, on the north coast. A further foundation followed at Little Petherick, not far away, as well as smaller hermitages. Petroc took to living as a hermit on the wilds of Bodmin Moor; he is not the only Celtic saint to have had a particular ability to tame wild animals, and his emblem is a stag, in commemoration of one which he protected from huntsmen. The cult of St. Petroc became widespread in Devon and Cornwall, in South Wales and in Brittany, even becoming recognised in Italy."

"St. Petroc was a Welsh nobleman who was educated in an Irish monastery and then sailed with a small band of followers to Camel estuary. He arrived in the estuary and built a church at Padstow with a Celtic monastery as a centre for spreading the Christian faith. In his travels he also started churches in Bodmin and Little Petherick, as well as in many parts of Britain, Wales and Brittany. King Constantine ruled the area at this time and was said to have been converted to Christianity by St. Petroc when he rescued the deer that the King was hunting. There are many legends about St. Petroc's healing, miracles and banishing monsters. He was buried at Padstow. In the 12 th Century St. Petroc's Church in Bodmin got his relics and put them in a painted ivory casket, which can still be seen today."


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