Icelandic brynja for protection

As our modern-day plague continues, we also continue to search for religious and magical remedies for the protection and amusement of our devoted readers.

Another brynjubaen dead end

A few weeks ago we noted the existence of Icelandic brynjubaen as precursors to the Irish lorica, a type of poetry for protection. Lorica is Latin for “breastplate”, as in a light type of body armor or coat of mail.  The Irish word is lúirech.

The first occurrence of the word brynjubaen in print seems to be in Jón Árnason‘s classic collection of Icelandic folklore. There he prints three prayers entitled brynjubaen [singular: brynja], giving as his source manuscripts (kver) from western and southern Iceland.

This appears in a journal article, “Some Icelandic Loricae”, by Gearóid S. Mac Eoin in the journal, Studia Hibernica No. 3 (1963), pp. 143-154, which is unfortunately behind a paywall.

But our goal is not necessary to read the journal article itself, but to find the actual medieval poems, and determine whether they have any use for our current predicament.  A number of sources are given in the preview, so let’s see if we can track down the footnotes.

The first is the much-cited “Étude sur les loricae celtiques et sur les priéres qui s’en rapprochent”, by Louis Gougaud. It was published in Bulletin d’ancienne littérature et d’archéologie chrétiennes. The pages we are interested in are Volume 1 (1911) 265-81 and Volume 2 (1912) 33-41, 101-27.

And here we have a complete copy of Volume 1 at Hathitrust, digitized by google, the original at Princeton University.  But unfortunately it is not in a form that can be copy-pasted, so it’s not possible to use Google Translate for reading it. It does appear to contain lists of various loricae, and the institutions that hold them, including Latin, Irish and Welsh.

Here is another scan digitized by Google, this one from the University of Michigan has both Volume 1 and 2.  The lorica material starts on p.371 in the Hathitrust numbering, and continues again on 441.

But unfortunately, either my Latin is not up to the task, or the author completely forgot to mention Iceland, because I can find nothing of Icelandic loricas, lúirech, or brynjubaen in all of that.

It’s got other stuff though.  Lorica du livre de Taliesin, anyone?

Or the Hymne de Broccan sur Sainte Brigid?

…hmm, Brigid…

Saint Brigid – Brocca’s hymn

Ah yes, this appears to be Broccan’s hymn to Saint Brigid, a translation at least, the original is in Latin and Irish. And here is the part that would seem to be the lorica–it does contain the word “shield”:

May they be between me and pain,
(that) my soul come not to ruin.
The Nun that used to run over (the) Curragh,
may she be a shield against sharp weapons :
She found not her like save Mary :
we put trust in my Brige !
We put trust in my Brige —
may she be a protection to our host !
May her patronage work with me !
may we all deserve escape !
Christ’s praise, a glorious utterance,
adoration of God’s Son, a gift of victory,
Of God’s kingdom without denial be
every one who has sung it, who has heard it.
Whoever hath heard, whoever hath sung,
let Brigit’s blessing be on him :
Brigit’s blessing and God’s
be upon us together.
You can have the entire thing read out loud in English here:
Or here it is by Whitley Stokes, 1872, from the Irish Liber Hymnorum, on Google Books.

St. Brigid – Brigit Bé Bithmaith

Here is another Brigid protective chant, this one attributed to St. Ultan of Ardbraccan, who collected the material that later was made into Broccan’s hymn, the one that tells the story of her miracles.
The hymn was traditionally used as a powerful lorica (a prayer recited for protection in Christian monastic tradition) and shows Brigid’s pagan origins in her aspect as Goddess – linked to the sun and fire -and as a pillar of Irish spirituality together with St Patrick. The reference to her as the Mother of Jesus is folkloric – legend claims her to be the midwife to Mary and foster mother of Christ.
In Ireland Brigid was associated with Mary; as Saint Patrick was the father of all the saints, Saint Brigit was the mother.
Brigit, ever good woman
a sparkling golden flame
may she lead us to the eternal realm
the shining bright sun
Save us Brigit
from hordes of demons
may she win for us
battles of every hardship….

This chant in Irish…

And finally finally finally we have the a manuscript. The hymn Brigit Bé Bithmaith (‘Brigit ever good woman’) from the hymn book  Liber Hymnorum, written in Old Irish.  Manuscripts at Trinity College Library TCD MS 1441, 16v and  TCD MS 1441, 17r

More manuscripts here:


Mortalitas hujus anni, or Incantations to avoid plague

The “impetus” for creating this protective text…
was apparently the same epidemic of the plague of the 60s of the 7th century,
or some other, more local epidemic,
which an anonymous author calls mortalitas hujus anni
“the pestilence of this year.”

So we are in the midst of a modern day plague.

And we have no cures, no vaccinations, and no toilet paper.

Can we look to the magic of antiquity for answers?

Why not.

There were two basic responses to the medieval plague, and they were NOT handwashing and social distancing.

They were of course religion and magic, and the two did overlap from time to time, although how much is now a matter of conjecture.


The most obvious form of religious protection was the lorica, (meaning “breastplate” armour) a protective incantation with Irish roots and still well-beloved among our British cousins, over at the Church of England.

The most well known lorica is perhaps the Deer’s Cry, Faeth Fiada, part of the larger Breastplate of St. Patrick.  The backstory of this incantation is that it was intoned by Saint Patrick to hide his party of monks from heathen soldiers as they were passing nearby in the fog.

Here is a particularly beautiful one, composed by Arvo Pärt, which unlike some notable women, even has its own Wikipedia article:The Deer’s Cry (Pärt).

And if you liked that one, you will really like what their incredible sopranos do with Barber’s Agnus Dei.

But back to incantations for plague….

There is really a wealth of information in this Russian-language link, but at this point I am just going to mention it in passing, and let the google algorithm magic do its thing.

According to this Russian website, courtesy of Google Translate:

The “impetus” for creating this protective text, as suggested by M. Herren and on what he bases the dating of the text, was apparently the same epidemic of the plague of the 60s of the 7th century, or some other, more local epidemic, which an anonymous author calls mortalitas hujus anni “the pestilence of this year” (see [Herren 1973]). Latin loriks, of course, are usually attributed to the early Irish scholarly monastic tradition, and the transfer of this type of poetry to the vernacular soil is usually dated to a somewhat later time.

This is what everyone says.  You will find some version of it all over the internet.  The Lorica (the Saint Patrick one) is attributed to 8th century Irish manuscripts, written and preserved by monks, but I have yet to see one. The earliest one in use is easy enough to find though.

The copy-text for the original poem in 8th-century Irish was Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: A Collection of Old-Irish Glosses, Scholia, Prose, and Verse, Vol. II, edited by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan (Cambridge, 1903). The poem appears on pages 354–358.

Here it is on Internet Archive.  With tons of footnotes.

And a beautiful thing it is.

This is not Latin, it is some kind of Irish.

And this is not the only place you will find it.  When Seamus Heaney (see my sidebar) and Ted Hughes (of Sylvia Plath fame) set out to compile a collection of all the poetry that they considered part of the necessary British heritage, but that they had not been taught in school, they included a translation of this protective poem in their anthology The School Bag, Faber & Faber, 1997.

How to make this into a search term…hmm…could try to copy it out…Crist lim, Crist reum, Crist in degaid ... and take it to YouTube…I bet someone has done it. Or try the Gaelic word lúirech as your search term.  Oh, it’s on Wikisource. We have the entire text.

A short digression and rant…

But we are still very firmly in sausagefest territory here. And looking at the translators listed by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes in their book doesn’t help any. One translator was Whitley Stokes, who first married Mary Bazely, the daughter of Col. Bazeley, Bengal artillery, and later married Elizabeth Temple, daughter of William Temple;… they had a daughter….

One of his daughters, Maïve, compiled a book of Indian Fairy Tales [WikiSource] in 1879 (she was 12 years old) based on stories told to her by her Indian ayahs and a man-servant. It also included some notes by Mrs. Mary Stokes.

Who is that, Maïve’s mother? Or Whitley’s mother? Accuracy, please. His sister, Margaret Stokes, was an artist and wrote two books on early Irish saints.  Where are they?  We need moar saints.

Okay, moving on…


We know the monks did not pull these invocations or loricas or whatever out of thin air, they were based on something, probably druidic and even Icelandic stuff. We just have to go back further in history, before the monastery stuff.  Just list, and see what comes up in the algorithms.  Everything plague is trending right now, we should be able to find plenty.

Ha!  Vikings!  Good.

Two nineteenth century collections of Icelandic folklore contain folk-prayers bearing the title brynjubaen. This word is a compound…. The first occurrence of the word brynjubaen in print seems to be in Jón Árnason‘s classic collection of Icelandic folklore. There he prints three prayers entitled brynjubaen [singular: brynja], giving as his source manuscripts (kver) from western and southern Iceland. These are violent incantations aimed at banishing the petitioner’s enemy to the…

This Icelandic brynjubaen is promising.
But we didn’t count on the libraries being closed in time of plague, so these things are probably locked up tight behind a paywall, waiting for the results of the Darwin Award competitions.  Anyone who is still standing afterwards with library card intact, gets to read it.
So we will leave this for later…

Names for plagues

So if you have a kind of plague or disease, what kind of name do you call it?  And do you use Latin or what.

There are a ton of these in the Irish literature.

The “jaundice of Conallus,” is a type of localized plague. (See Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Dublin, Hodges, Smith, and co. 1856)

Then there’s flava ictericia, “yellow jaundice”, mortolitas magna (the great mortality), and the great pestilence called “The Boye Conneall.”

I’m just going to put these out there, with their sourcing, and move on.

Neimhidh afterwards died of a plague, together with three thousand persons, in the island of Ard-Neimhidh”, in Crich Liathain”, in Munster. …  … This is translated Flava Ictericia, the yellow jaundice, by Colgan.

Cron-Chonaill.  This is translated Flava Ictericia, the yellow jaundice, by Colgan. Acta Sanctorum, p. 831, col. 2 : “Mortalitate Cron-chonnuill (id est flava ictericia) appellata, hi omnes sancti, præter S. Kieranum et S. Tigernachum extincti sunt.”

“Colum of Inis-Cealtr is also mentioned in the Annuls of Ulster as dying of the Mortolitas magna in 548, and in the Annals of Clonmacnoise, at 550, as dying of the great pestilence called “The Boye Conneall;” but the Editor has not been able to discover any further account of him


Cétnad nAíse
, a pre-Christian Irish lorica with seven sea daughters

Let’s go back and look at again.  This is in Russian, but it has some great stuff, if you can get past the translation barrier.

First, we find a reference to the Cétnad nAíse, (see here for dicussion of the various translatons), subtitled “A Chant of Long Life” (Admuiniur secht n-ingena trethan).   This is very exciting, because finally we have something with women in it – seven daughters of the sea.  The text also seems to be much earlier than the 8th c stuff, and it is a type of lorica, but it does not seem to have so much of the trappings of Christianity as Faeth Fiada (the “Deer’s Cry”).  The original is found in only one copy of a Middle Irish metrical treatise.

Translations of Cétnad nAíse:


The Song of Amergin

Here is a similar poem:

When Amairgen G lúngel, son of Míl’s, first steps upon Ireland, with his right foot, (obviously some kind of ritual meaning) he composes a poem with a series of thirteen “I am…” lines,  from the Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions).  There seem to be a lot of these floating around, with no indication of which is canon.  More versions here, and invocations.  Another one here. This is nice.

I am a stag of seven tines,
I am a wide flood on a plain,
I am a wind on the deep waters,
I am a shining tear of the sun,
I am a hawk on a cliff,
I am fair among flowers,
I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke.
I am a battle waging spear,
I am a salmon in the pool,
I am a hill of poetry,
I am a ruthless boar,
I am a threatening noise of the sea,
I am a wave of the sea,
Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen ?


The Celtic saint Brettifa / Brettiva / Brigid, or whatever (see the notes at December 21: the feast day of Thomas the brewer), another one of these Icelandic connections,  also had something to do with plague, but now I have forgotten where I saw it, it’s probably in that Russian text somewhere.

According to Wikipedia, Bridget of Sweden made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1350, at the peak of the plague, so this might prove a promising path of inquiry.

There is also a Saint (and Celtic goddess) Brigid of Ireland. And a cross of St. Brigid. Here is the cross and how to make it.

Since there are a lot sheltering at home right now, here is also the St. Brigid house blessing.

May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside every wall and door
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
Bless every foot that walks its portals through
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.

How to make a cross of St. Brigid

And here is how to make the three-cornered Brigid cross.

Another tutorial on making the three-armed Brigid cross. The rushes are pulled, not cut.  Ha, no iron that would interfere with magic spells.  Similar to the triskelion or Manx three legs symbol.
Here is a Brigid ‘lúireach’ or lorica, a modern one, Lúireach Bhríde, written by poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin (tsk, her Wikipedia article has a nasty template on the top)


Saint Honorina, hope of the captives

« Sainte Honorine, l’espérance des captifs et des matelots, obtenez-nous la délivrance de nos périls et de nos maux. »
[St. Honorine, hope of captives and sailors, deliver us from peril and evil.]
1875 prayer for the Sunday after February 27, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, commune of Yvelines.

February 27 is the feast day of Saint Honorina (French: Sainte Honorine), patron of sailors and liberated prisoners. The saint’s influence was “most extraordinary in releasing prisoners from fetters” and her altars “were accordingly hung round with an abundance of chains and instruments of torture”.

At the same time let us take time to remember all the women still in Middle Eastern prisons for the crime of driving while female, as well as those subjected to the whims of kangaroo courts that are enforcers for the privileged.

It has been said that Medieval sainthood is based on the curation of bones, since the bones of saints are said to be incorruptible.

The bones of Saint Honorina first appear in Normandy prior to the Norman invasion, with the convenient backstory of having been executed by pagans and pitched into the Seine during the 4th century Diocletian persecution.  Did the Seine even exist in the 4th century?  Did the French even know anything about Rome?  Whatever.  She had quite a following in the area.

…ooh, checking email…

Fear not, O Devoted Reader, this mere hyperbole.


The Seine is fine.  Do not panic. 

The Seine is NOT UNSTABLE.  As it was in the beginning – hidden far, far back in the mists of time – is now and always shall be – far, far into the unforeseeable future.  Forever and ever and ever. 

all things merge into one...
and a river runs through it.

Okay, carry on.

Although Petrus de Natalibus snubbed her completely in his 12-volume 1493 Legends of the Saints, Arturo du Monstier described a number of her post-mortem miracles in Neustria Pia.  The miracles extended to her horse: after the animal’s demise, dogs refused to eat the beast, so the horse hide was used to cover the chapel door.

Her original spiritual center of influence was centered in Normandy, at Grâville, before her devotee monks carried her relics further inland to Conflans upon the Marne in 876 to protect them from Viking raiders.

Honorina is believed to be part of the Gallic people of Caletes. The Caleti, or Belgae, was one of the last groups of Celts to migrate to the Atlantic coast of Normandy, around the 1st or 2nd century BC, and settle around the river Seine. They were part of a confederacy that opposed Rome in 57 BC, but were absorbed into the Roman empire after Vercingetorix surrendered to Julius Caesar at the siege of Alesia in 52 BC. (Pretty sure I saw this in an Asterix comic, so it must be true.)

In any case, Le Havre is a good choice for a saint who breaks chains, since Wikipedia tells us that city first took off with the slave trade.  In medieval times, slavery had just started its decline in Europe, and the Vikings arrived in Normandy just in time to embrace the new custom.  And after the Norman arrival in 1066, England in turn experienced a huge decline in slavery .

The Normans had been extremely keen on the slave trade, as you might expect, given that the Normans had once been Norsemen, Vikings who had settled in the area around France’s Seine estuary from the late ninth century. The Vikings, as their reputation suggests, were among the foremost exponents of the medieval slave trade, seizing men and women from the vulnerable shores of Europe and selling them on to Scandinavia or the Middle East. But in the course of the 10th century the Normans gradually abandoned their Viking roots and began adopting the culture and customs of their Frankish neighbours, embracing, for example, Christianity, the French language and also the Frankish art of fighting on horseback. Eventually, as part of this same process of acculturation, they also abandoned the slave trade. In the tenth century the Norman capital at Rouen had flourished partly as a result of the import and export of human cargoes, but references to the city’s slave market dry up around the turn of the first millennium.

So, although Honorina seems to be originally of Celtic background, and is credited with pagan roots, by the time she emerges (or rather her bones) in the 9th century, she is very Frankish in her Christianity, opposition to slavery, and use of a horse.

According to Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, the church of Grâville was dedicated to her. The area is now Graville-Sainte-Honrine, a quarter of Le Havre .  In the 6th century, the site was a hermitage, then in the 9th century became a pilgrimage destination when it housed the relics of Saint Honorine. Although the bones remain elsewhere, the church remains as the Graville Abbey, having been restored by Guillaume Malet de Graville, a companion of William the Conqueror, after returning victoriously from the Battle of Hastings.


In 1080, the Benedictine monks of Bec-Helloin Abbey (Eure) founded a priory in Conflans, at the confluence of the Oise and Seine rivers. The town associated with the confluence, Auvers-sur-Oise, has been associated with famous Impressionists Cezanne, Pissarro, Daubigny, and van Gogh,
The relics of Honorine were then carried in procession to the monastery, in the presence of Saint Anselm, who would later become Archbishop of Canterbury. The event is still commemorated by a yearly procession with the relics.
« Par vos bontés, que notre foi s’accroisse, au Tentateur nous saurons dire : “non !”
De ce Conflans qui garde votre nom, contre tout mal, protégez la paroisse ! »

[The verse of the hymn the protection of Sainte Honorine:
“By your kindness, may our faith increase, To the tempter we will be able to say: “no!
From this Conflans that keeps your name, Against all evil, protect the parish! ]

The relics are now at the Saint-Maclou church of Conflans Sainte Honorine.  Above the river there is a Romanesque dungeon about fifteen meters high from the 11th century (sometime after 1085) built by Mathieu de Beaumont. The lords of Beaumont sur Oise were then lords of Conflans.  The tower /dungeon was built in the place of the wooden tower used to house the relics before the building of the church.

But wait, back at Grâville they went to all that trouble to save Honorine’s relics, and rebuild the abbey, and then they lost the tomb? Indiana Jones would be pleased. Via google translate:

The founding of the Canon de Graville took place with the participation of the Abbey of Sainte-Barbe-en-Auge (Calvados) and soon became a house of importance. The priory suffered the effects of the Hundred Years’ War (1415) and the Religion wars already in the 16th century. In the 17th century it joined the congregation of France, remaining active until its suppression in the wake of the Revolution. During the nineteenth century it was the subject of studies and restorations, and in 1867 the primitive tomb of Santa Honorina was discovered. The site was again damaged during the Second World War and restored later.

So the 9th century monks left in a big hurry, taking their assets with them – including the bones that were the income-producer that could typically free a monstery from dependence on back-breaking agricultural labor – also taking with them the insitutional memory of where the bones had been stored.

Honorina must have been immensely popular.  In spite of all the local Norman saints losing their appeal after the Norman conquest, St. Honorina kept a place at February 27 on the Augustine Calendar, as discovered by an academic named Cochet (see footnote on The Bosworth psalter: an account of a manuscript formerly belonging to O….).

Now, the more things get explained the more confusing they get.  Canterbury Calendar? Augustine Calendar?

Church calendars

Here is an essay about Norman Calendars by T.A. Heslop (p. 53), which also mentions Honorina’s feast day.  Unfortunately the comparison tables between calendars, have not been reproduced, but at least is is something to go on.  The post-conquest Canterbury Calendar document is Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Add.C. 260 (Plate 1), probably dating from the 1120s. This can be compared to a pre-conquest calendar at the front of a psalter at British Library MS Arundel 155 c 1020 written by Christ Church monk Eadwig Basan, which probably defines liturgical observance at the Canterbury Cathedral early in Cnut’s reign. There is no surviving calendar as such from St. Augustine’s Abbey, but one can be reconstructed from a missal now at Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 270 dating soon after 1091. So the answer to the calendar question is Canterbury Cathedral and St. Augustine’s Abbey.

So back to Honorina’s lost tomb.

Here we find out in a footnote that “her tomb at Graville in the Pays de Caux and diocese of Rouen was the centre of her cult and object of pilgrimage (Cochet, Le tombeau de Sainte Honoine a Graville pres le Havre, Rouen, E. Cagniard, 1867).”  So it looks like this Cochet person is the one we need.  And sure enough, here he is, Jean Benoît Désiré Cochet (1812-1875), with his own page in a French library. I think I’ll download a copyArchéologie chrétienne. Le Tombeau de sainte Honorine, à Graville, près Le Havre, par M. l’abbé Cochet,… (1867) ”  It has pictures and drawings of the tomb.   Here you go: [Download PDF] Archéologie_chrétienne_Le_Tombeau_de_[…]Cochet_Jean_bpt6k32142112But who was she before she became a model modern Frankish woman, who rode a horse and freed slaves?

Here is a statue of St. Honorine from the 11th century Église Saint-Hilaire in Le Neufbourg, France (population 414). It does look like it’s been around for a while.

First of all she does not look like a typical virgin saint, or at least like someone who has taken a vow of poverty.  Her right hand is broken off, but seems to hold a pastoral staff, a typical religious symbol of the day.  More modern statues often show her with a palm branch, symbol of victory (over the devil, one would assume).  In her left hand is a book, with holes that show something has been broken from it, perhaps an expensive binding, or something of metal that could have been recycled?  A close look at her face shows a nostril piercing, likewise empty.  Did it have some jewelry at one time?  She is sometimes described as holding a book and a jewel.  Her left hand also shows a ring, again not the sort of plain iron ring one would expect from a nun, but perhaps with some sort of stone setting.  And sources say she was burned, as a magician, and the reason for her body being consigned to a river was to avoid desecration–that magic again? Might she have been the type of magician who turns base metal into gold, using a philosopher’s stone? There are two abstract knots that I have not seen before, one around her waist, cinching in her bliaud with the long sleeves, and the other above the book.  A symbol of marriage, or just a stylized knot?

Honoria’s miracles

So far, just sources, in Latin….(grrrr)

  • There is a footnote on page 5 of the introduction about further manuscripts of the translations and miracles of Saint Honorine: Three Treatises from Bec on the Nature of Monastic Life, edited by Giles Constable, Free e-book.
  • Incomplete edition of Miracula, s. Honorinae in Analecta Bollandiana, 9 (1890), 135-46; BHL 3983. [Indexed here in vol 19-20 as Translatio S. Honorinae virginis et martyris et eiusdem miracula. -Tomus IX (1890)] Free E-book: Analecta bollandiana, Volume 9.
  • Sections of it are printed, from MS, Paris, Bibliotheque nationale, Latin 13774, in J. Depoin, Les comtes de Beaumonst-sur-Oise et le prieure de Sainte-Honorine de Pontoise (Pointoise, 1915) (This is Depoin, J. (Joseph) 1853-1924 on WorldCat)

Some other details about related stuff:

Priorat de Sainte-Honorine de Graville

“The founding of the Canon de Graville took place with the participation of the Abbey of Sainte-Barbe-en-Auge (Calvados) and soon became a house of importance. The priory suffered the effects of the Hundred Years’ War (1415) and the Religion wars already in the 16th century. In the 17th century it joined the congregation of France, remaining active until its suppression in the wake of the Revolution. During the nineteenth century it was the subject of studies and restorations, and in 1867 the primitive tomb of Santa Honorina was discovered. The site was again damaged during the Second World War and restored later.”

Cult of Sainte Honorine in Calvados.

From the French, oh this is some good stuff:

“Sainte Honorine (February 27): Sainte Honorine is better known by her worship than by her life, a common fate for many saints of the first centuries. There remain two centers of devotion to this virgin: a corner of the Normandy Bocage, where she probably lived, and the banks of the Lower Seine where her relics wandered. Only one authentic document remains from its history: the old Normandy-Senonnais martyrologist kept at the National Library. [“le vieux martyrologe Normand-Sénonnais conservé à la Bibliothèque nationale”] We read there: “The six of the calendars of April, at the pagus of the Bajocasses, in a vicus [Roman settlement or neighborhood] called Colonica, dead on the virgin Honorine“. Various authors translate this word as Coulonces [former region on Normandy]. In the 14th century, a neighboring parish, Saint-Martin-de-Tallevende “had a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Honorine. In a more or less distant neighborhood we find the churches of Sainte-Honorine-de-Bény, Sainte-Honorine-la -Chardonne, Sainte-Honorine-la-Guillaume, Sainte-Honorine-de-Chailloué, these last three in the diocese of Séez. A difficulty arises: Coulonces was not part of the old Bessin. By admitting a copyist fault we could read Bolonica, that is to say Boulon, whose neighboring parish, Mutrécy, is under the name of Sainte-Honorine. During the persecution of Diocletian who opened in 284 the Era of Martyrs, officers of the emperor seized the virgin Honorine and summoned her to sacrifice to the idols. On her obstinate refusal she was condemned to fire, a punishment then reserved for magicians. In the eyes of these pagans the holy miracle workers were reputed as such. Her charred bones were transported to Honfleur and thrown in the Seine to avoid desecration. The rising tide carried them to Graville, where they were collected and placed in a stone coffin. Around 841 the Normans went up the Seine, sowing devastation. The Graville clergy removed the relics from the sarcophagus and transported them to Conflans, where the monks of the Bec erected a magnificent church in the 10th century. A chapel built at the bottom of a valley, dominated by a hill called Sainte-Honorine, in the parish of Mélamare, on the old way from Lillebonne to Harfleur, made this place, without other reasons, consider the theater of its martyrdom. We still find his patronage in Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes, Sainte-Honorine-du-Fay, Sainte-Honorine-de-Ducy, Sainte-Honorine-la-Chardonnette and Ammeville, in the diocese of Bayeux, and in Andreville-la -Hubert in the Diocese of Coutances. The peasants of Bessin once invoked Saint Honorine against fever. A 12th century seal represents the standing saint, bare head, in a tight fitting bliaud with long sleeves, holding in its hand a jewel and an open book. “

in Fifty Norman Saints, historical and archaeological study by Frédéric Alix; Impression Society of Lower Normandy, Caen 1933. [Cinquante Saints Normands, étude historique et archéologique de Frédéric Alix ; Société d’Impression de Basse-Normandie, Caen 1933.] (Worldcat)

Breviary for Sainte Honorine. % 20a% 20sainte 20honorine 20martyre% & f = false dead link

Roman missal for the memory of Sainte Honorine. Prayer% 20a% 20sainte% 20honorine 20martyre% & f = false free ebook  Missel de Paris, latin et françois.




Saints for survivors of child abuse

To all those whose childhoods were marred by violence, abuse, neglect, and pain.

There has been some backchanneling lately about child abuse, and while I do not wish to shrink from tikkun olam, the moral obligation to remove harm from the world, I also find myself in need of some saints, as a sort of palate cleanser.

Here are a few, specifically associated with child abuse and sexual abuse.

  • Maria Goretti (1890 – 1902) An 11-year-old girl who died as the result of an attempted sexual assault.  Her attacker later repented after visions of being burned by lilies.  She is patron saint of both attackers and those who fall prey to sexual predators.

“St Maria Goretti was mortally wounded with 14 stab wounds. The majority of victims of paedophilia, however, are lacerated within. They are condemned to a slow death – a long haemorrhaging of the spirit – by the interior disfigurement caused by the abuse.

“The victim is disfigured in his/her own eyes. Others might look and see a beautiful, gifted person; but the person who is abused views him/herself with intense and often violent self-loathing. The spirit weeps and the soul bleeds. This can go on for many, many years.

“St Maria fought back against her attacker. He demanded her complicity and she refused….

Lies of the abuser
“Many abused children did not have the strength, or the ability, to resist an abuser. That is no reflection on them whatsoever; but the important thing to remember is that now that they are older and stronger, they can fight back against the abuse. They can close their ears to the terrible lies that the abuser told them about themselves.”

But all of this seems quite medieval, especially when we are talking about people who are using Wikipedia to work out their personal traumas, and sometimes disrupting other peoples’ work flows in the process. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite strong enough.

How about an Amazing Grace, that is both strong and gentle enough to overcome anything.

Amazing Grace

The song was composed by a former slave trader, John Newton, who would have fit right in on Commons.  According to Wikipedia,

“In a culture where sailors habitually swore, Newton was admonished several times for not only using the worst words the captain had ever heard, but creating new ones to exceed the limits of verbal debauchery.”

But Newton turned his life around.  He even tried to become a priest in the Church of England, but was turned down for something even worse than slaving and swearing:

“…his leanings toward evangelism and tendency to socialise with Methodists.

But Newton persisted, and was eventually not only ordained, but married the woman of his dreams. And of course he also wrote Amazing Grace, which “became a popular song used by Baptist and Methodist preachers”. What goes around, comes around.

Here it is sung by Judy Collins. And there is another version by her, performed on the steps of the nation’s capitol in 1993, with the Boys’ Choir Of Harlem.

But what about the doodz, my loyal readers may ask, because by now they know that it’s not just a rhetorical question here, and that we do indeed say stuff about the dudes, sometimes even nice stuff. And boys do get assaulted; and sometimes in a sort of Stockholm syndrome, they may even develop a “betrayal bond” or psychological alliance with the abuser, and continue the cycle of abuse.

So I have scoured the internets and listened to untold numbers of unacceptable renditions of Amazing Grace, to bring you only the best.  And I believe I have found it.  This is UK musician Terry Miles playing a boogie woogie version on a piano in a London train station.

Den Hellige Emilie

Saint Emilie de Rodat (1787-1852) was a French saint, a teacher who established a number of schools.  She was also a mystic.  Her feast day is September 19.  Her Wikipedia article is barely start class.

She is known as a patron of prisoners.

This might be a nice day to remember all the Saudi women who are still in prison and being tortured — for driving a car.


Émilie de Rodat was the first child of Jean-Louis de Rodat, treasurer of France in the generality of Montauban and Henriette de Pomayrols, a family belonging to the old Rouergate nobility. During the French Revolution her family sent her at a young age to leave Druelle and go to live with her maternal grandmother at Ginals Castle, near Villeneuve d’Aveyron, for more safety.

After trying three different religious houses, she did not find a vocation and went to join her grandmother Agathe de Pomayrols in Villefranche-de-Rouergue (Aveyron) in a community, the house of Madame de Saint-Cyr, which had gathered former nuns whose the convents had been dissolved during the Revolution.

After hearing mothers talk about not being able to educate their daughters because of the disappearance of the Ursulines‘ free schools (for St. Ursula, the medieval patron of education), Saint Emilie decided she could teach the children, and founded the  “Congregation of the Holy Family(Soeurs de la Sainte-Famille de Villefranche) .

She founded the congregation of the nuns of the Holy Family on May 3, 1816 with three other young women: Éléonore Dutriac, Marie Boutaric, and Ursule Delbreil. They quickly attracted 40 students.  After several more moves, in 1817 she acquired a former convent of the Cordeliers. (This article is really sketchy.)

Émilie de Rodat dictated her autobiography to her second confessor Pierre-Marie Fabre, which was discovered after her death.

Anonymous 4, Chants for St Ursula



August 31 is the day of the translation of the bones of the Norwegian Saint Sunniva.

Sunniva seems to have been Norway’s first saint, and Selje the first pilgrimage location, the saint’s bones having been discovered in a large cave on the island in 996 by none other than King Olav Tryggvason, who is seen as a key figure in the early Christianization of Norway.

“Translation” means the bones were moved to Bergen.  They were later either destroyed or lost during the Reformation.

The Catholic Holy Communion in the Middle Ages has been characterized as the cultivation of dead bones.

A similar tradition to Saint Sunniva at Selje grew up around the church at Munkeby, associated with Saint Brettiva, a saint that is not found in the standard calendars of saints. So this must be a special local Norwegian saint day, and the bones of a woman must have been found there–this points to an Anglo-Saxon origin for the legends of both saints.

Where the bones were found, there also was the miracle.  Then a church was made for the protection of the holy remains, and a monastery built sometime later, and incorporated into the parish church, to be a place for pilgrims and travelers, also a place for the caretakers of the cult to stay, as the pilgrimage to the church increased. In the case of Sunniva, the first shrine was in the cave itself, dedicated to St. Michael.

In the early days – the golden age of monasteries in Norway – permanent income was scarce and the work at monasteries was great, monks took part in the work in the field, in the forest and in the garden. They were builders, gardeners, and farmers. There were enough nuns skilled with spindle and loom to provide for everyone’s clothing. Later, revenues from gifts and goods increased. Then manual labor was less necessary and the timed prayers were enough.

Sunniva herself was said to have come from Ireland, with three ships, and for the usual reason, escaping an unwanted marriage, in this case to a pagan.

There is quite a bit of art and such associated with this saint, but the uploads are flaky today, I guess that’s what happens with a free blog.

So let me just put up the one I find the most interesting, a series called “Den hellige Sunniva” done by Gøsta af Geijerstam, at the invitation of Sigrid Undset.  

It’s on WorldCat here, and the publisher seems to be the Selje scriptorium, if I am interpreting this correctly (“Selje : Scriptoriet,”). It was first published in German as “Sunniva (München : Verlag Ars Sacra, 1932)”. It is listed here as “Undset, Sigrid, Sunniva. München, J. Müller, 1932”. Another sources offers it as “Sunniva / Sigrid Undset ; Übers. von Martha Näf ; Mit Bildern von Gösta af Geijerstam Von: Undset, Sigrid, 1882-1949 Mitwirkende(r): Näf, Martha | Geijerstam, Gösta af, 1888-1954″ (Sunniva. (Pictures by Gösta af Geijerstam, translated by Martha Näf.) – Munich: J. Müller (1932). 79 p. 8 °”). Some metadata here from library of Norway.

There is a lot more about Sunniva here, she seems to have been not just the first saint, but the most important saint in Norway for a long time, and connected to protection of sailors, a position previously held by Thor. So maybe I will write more, if I have time.  In the meantime here is some bibliography, most with rich visuals.

Female saints in Cornwall

Following up on this research on saints in Cornwall from Sarah Fish, “The female saints of Cornwall“.  The names have been organized by both alphabetical and calendar lists, H/T Dysklver:

As Fish notes, most saints came from somewhere else, having floated in on a leaf, or migrated with some group of pilgrims or some such. Little is known about many of the saints, who are sometimes only associated with a particular church or sacred well.

Also note that Wikipedia has an article “List of Cornish saints“, which is not broken down by gender, but undoubtedly some of the listed saints are female. There is probably a way to pull the information out of WikiData using a Sparkl query, assuming they are labeled correctly, but I don’t have time to figure it out. The list also exists in French, but oddly enough, not in Cornish. Perhaps one of Dysk’s sisters will be on it.


  • Staff at St Anne’s (stub), Whitstone (multiple maintneance tags), Advent, and Morwenstowand
  • Staff of St Austell library (the article for St Austell tells us the library building is a notable landmark, but not even a paragraph about it, much less a sentence with the address and hours – here’s your source for that…the official website)
  • Staff of the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth, “Cornwall’s largest library of Cornish printed and published archival material.[citation needed]” …(and what a lot of tags on that one, surely their move is finished by now) Do those people know about 1lib1ref?????

Unhelpful texts

  • The Life of St Breage (lost manuscript, 5th-6th c)
  • Breton Life of St Non (which places the saint in Brittony rather than Cornwall)
  • St Samson of Dol, a male saint, does not talk about his sainted mother
  • Ordinalia, no info on female saints

Secondary literature on saints

  • Nicholas Orme on the saints of Cornwall (eBook $151.99, no snippet view, however this does occasionally yield info on search) (Amazon preview however has a huge amount of material reproduced, including bibliography – click on image of cover)
  • Oliver Padel on Cornish place names: Popular Dictionary of Cornish Place-Names, 1988. [google books, no snippet]
  • Nicholas Roscorrock (red link) and his work on church dedications in Cornwall in the sixteenth century (Nicholas Roscarrock’s Lives of the saints : Cornwall and Devon / edited by Nicholas Orme, 1992 based on ms at Cambridge University Library Manuscript Add. 3041) (limited view at Hathitrust).
  • Historians and folklorist such as the Reverend Gilbert Doble… “St Gerent – a Cornish saint, by the Rev. Canon Gilbert H. Doble, M.A.” 1938. PDF) (ahhh, look at them all).
  • Historian and folklorist Robert Hunt, “Popular Romances of the West of England collected and edited by Robert Hunt” [1903, 3rd edition] , text. (volume one is giants, mermaids, etc, volume two is saints, holy wells, legends of Arthur etc.) On Gutenberg; on Internet Archive.)

Saints by location

This is how Fish originally categorizes the saints, having backed off of a straight list form.

Far west of Cornwall

  • St Ia of St Ives – stained glass windows in the church, statue is displayed above the altar in the Lady Chapel, displayed in church banner (?).
  • St Neulina of St Newlyn East
  • Minster
  • St Austell and Truro – more populated, less info

Far east near Devon

  • St Anne’s at Whitstone – more dedicated to saint, less populated areas


  • St Keyne’s Well near Looe
  • Virgin martyrs- links with other Celtic countries, namely Ireland, Wales and Brittany.

Alphabetical list

Wikipedia articles are linked, where they exist.

  • Adwenna, Adwen – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog – place name “Advent”, just outside the hamlet of Tresinney near Camelford, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Possibly same as Dwywnen or Lan (or La) Dwynwen; January 25
  • Agnes, virgin and martyr, fourth-century Roman martyr, killed when she refused to marry the governor’s son, local legend says she fled Rome for Cornwall, performed miracles such as turning the Devil into a stone.
  • Anne – holy mother (of St Samson of Dol), originally from Wales, moved on to Brittany, St Anne at Whitstone in north Cornwall, the first dedication of this church to her was in 1883; previously the dedication had been to St Nicholas, holy well on church grounds carved face on back of well “an early Celtic water shrine to the pagan water spirit, Annas”. Saint Anna verch Gwerthefyr gan Oxenhall, princess.
  • Anta, Lelant church (to the east of St Ives), also the patron of Carbis Bay church in the next village to Lelant
  • Breage (or Breaca ) – Irish origin, traveled with St Germoe, who was said to be her foster son, possibly the sister of St Levan, although this might have been St Manacca; disciple of Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid, June 4
  • Brevita at Lanlivery; Brivet (Bryvyth), Briuete de Lannyvery, Breutte, Breute, Brevita, Briueta (Latin); first Sunday after the first Tuesday in May
  • Bride, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Brychan Brycheiniog, just for reference was a king who had a dozen or so daughters who became saints, high-ranking Welsh noblewomen, and whose churches tend to be close together
  • Buryan (St. Buriana, Beriana, Berion)(Buriana, Beriona, Burian), parish of St. Buryan near Land’s End, cured King Gerent’s son of paralysis.  Feast day May 27 [source] “the nearest Sunday to May 13th” p.121
  • Columb, virgin and martyr, daughter of pagan king who converted and refused to marry a pagan, “a holy well was formed at the spot where her blood landed on the ground.The place where she was martyred is named as Ruthwas, the present-day hamlet of Ruthvoes (Cornish: ‘red bank’).”
  • Columba – virgin martyr, one of the virgins who suffered with St Ursula, or possibly mixed with Columb.
  • Creed, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Crewenna, companion of Breage, patron saint of Crowan church, whose parish adjoins that of Breage and St Breaca “Her anniversary or Feast is still celebrated in the Anglican and Methodist churches on the nearest Sunday to Candlemas Eve (1st February)” Feb 1
  • Crowan (patroness of Crowan, Cornwall) Crevan, Crewen, Crozon (pronounced Craon) on Brittony’s west coast.
  • Derva, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Dominica, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Electa, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Endelienta,  Endelient – miraculous legends – local, daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog…St Endellion feast day April 29
  • Felec, see Piala
  • Gulval, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Ia_of_Persia_(Menologion_of_Basil_II)
    Ia of Persia

    Ia (or St Hya) – mention in Life of St Gwinear, Irish origin, disciple of St. Patrick, sister of St Erth  St. Ercus, and St Euny, male saints, tomb is (was) in St Ives church, holy well, Venton Ia, near Porthmeor beach; February 3 [source] See also Caitlin Green’s comparison with St. Ia of Persia: “St Ia of St Ives: a Byzantine saint in early medieval Cornwall?

  • Issey, virgin, also Filius [source]
  • Kew, virgin , Kigwe, Kywa, patroness of St. Kew or Lanon, St. Kyul, Guic, Ciwke. Feb. 8 [source]
  • Keyne – references to lost Lives, aunt of St Cadog, thought to be a daughter of Brychan, but appears in Welsh lists, Latin Life of St Keyne translated by Doble in 1930; besides “Llangain (‘church of Cain/Keyne’), and the parish of St Keyne itself, St Keyne is also associated with Keynsham in Somerset (where she is said to have turned snakes into stone)” “St Keyne is said to have blessed the waters of the well on her deathbed, then gave them their powers hoping ‘to benefit the world, by giving to woman a chance of being equal to her lord and master’; October 8
  • Keyn, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Ladock, virgin, Ladoca, Patroness of Ladock Jan. 1
  • Ludgvan, Ludewin – see Adwen
  • Mabena, Mabon – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, church at St Mabyn; November 18
  • Maker, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Materiana (also Mertherian),  patron of the church in Tintagel and its mother church at Minster, possibly “the Welsh princess Madrun, daughter of King Vortimer of Gwent, who fled to Cornwall after the death of her father”; October 19.
  • Matherian, virgin (Matheriana, Marchai, Patroness of Minster? April 9?) [source p.733]
  • Marwenna, St Marwenne or St Merewenne – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, sister of Morwenna, of Marhamchurch, possibly Merwenn, a tenth-century English abbess who lived in Romsey, Hampshire; August 12
  • Menfre or Menefreda, Menefrida, Minver, virgin – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, church of St Minver; Tredresick, Cornwall; hermitage, chapel and holy well were at Tredizzick, devil attacked her and she threw a comb at him, father Saint Brychan, feast day July 24, later July 13, some say Nov. 24 [source, p. 734]
  • Morwenna – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, sister of Marwenna – miraculous legends – local – place name “Marwenschurch”, parish of Morwenstow, well of St Morwenna is distant and inaccessible,  one of the children of Brechanus in St Nectaines life, possibly Breton saint Moren (of Lamorran) but probably not
  • Non, Nennyd, Naunter- Welsh origin – holy mother (of St David) – place name “Altarnun”, moved on to Brittany, mystery play Buhez Santez Nonn (Life of St Non) Paris 1837, performed on feast day [text on Internet Archive, free ebook]; March 3
  • Neulina (of St Newlyn East) – of Cornish origin, possibly Breton saint Noualen, (Noyale?) commemorated at Pontivy in Brittany.
  • Newlyn,virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Phillak, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Piala,  Phiala – virgin martyr – Irish origin – sister of St Gwinear (Fingar) – church at Phillack, near Hayle, where there is also a holy well bearing her name, church also dedicated to a St Felec, possibly St. Felicity, landed in Cornwall, killed by the local chieftain, Dec. 14 [source]
  • Senara, patron of Zennor. Feast day?
  • Sidwell, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Sitha, virgin; Sytha, Syth, chapel of St. Sitha at Bradford, possibly St. Osith Oct. 7
  • Stythyan, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)
  • Tedda, Tetha, Eatha- daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, church in St Teath near St Adwen at Advent. Originally May 1, then Whit Tuesday, the day after Pentecost Monday. Fairs on the last Tuesday in February and first Tuesday in July [source]
  • Wenna, Sancte Wenne – daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, dedicated to her: church at St Wenn, in mid Cornwall, and the church in Morval, near Looe on the south coast, also a chapel in St Kew parish. Possibly St Gwen or Guen, who appears in the Welsh genealogies as a daughter of Brychan, [see also two St. Wennas];  (c.472 – 18 October 544) was the daughter of Lord Cynyr Ceinfarfog of Caer Goch, the wife of King Salom of Cerniw (Cornwall) and the mother of Saint Cybi. She founded the churches of Sant Wenn and Saint Morval in Cerniw. She died in Cerniw.
  • Wendron, virgin (from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”)

List from “Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints”

Perpetual Calendar of Cornish Saints, with selections of poetry and prose relating to Cornwall, Sarah L. Enys, Published by A.W. Jordan, 1923

Virgins (Cornish ‘Gwerhes’):  Ladock, Sitha, Bride, Crowan, Ia, Kew, Maker, Derva, Matherian, Newlyn, Dominica, Buryan, Breag, Morwenna, Stythyan, Electa, Sidwell, Keyn, Wendron, Gulval, Issey, Minver, Creed, Phillak.

Virgin and martyr (Cornish: ‘Gwerhes ha Merther’): Agnes and Columb

Saints by date

Jan. 1 – Ladock [source p.733]

January 25 – Dwywnen (see Adwen) (also the conversion of St. Paul), nearest Sunday to January 25 – Ludgvan (see Adwen)

Feb 1 – St. Crewenna

st IaFebruary 3 – St. Ia, celebration is on the nearest Monday, parade to Venton Ia, to bless the silver hurling ball (?) (children have an ongoing game at the festival, the ball is carried to the holy well at the beginning for blessing)

Feb. 8 – St. Kew

March 3 – St. Non of Wales (Nonna, Nonnita) [source]

April 29 – Endelienta [source]

May (early) – St Brevita at Lanlivery, local feast week begins with blessing and dressing the holy well; first Sunday after the first Tuesday in May (1870 and 1887) [source]

May 27 – St. Buryan [source]

June 4 – Breaca of Cornwall, (also known as Breague, Branca, Banka) 5th-6th century. Saint Breaca was a disciple of Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid. [source] Formerly May 1 [source]

July 24 – Saint Menefrida, Tredresick, Cornwall; father Saint Brychan [source] ?sources differ

August 12 – the feast day of St Marwenna, the Marhamchurch Revel is on the closest Monday

Oct. 7 – St. Sitha [source, p. 752]

October 8 – St. Keyne, Cain, Cenau, Cenedion, Ceinwen, keane, Keyna, Kayane, from between Looe and Lskeard, a dragon slayer, ritual for upper hand in marriage [source]

October 19 – St. Materiana, Madrun, Madryn, Merthiana, Merhteriana, Marcellinana, daugher of King Vortimer, church of St. Maeriana, Boscastle, the church at Tintagel has her image in stained glass and statue [source]

November 18 – St. Mabyn, Mabena, Mabon daugher of Brychan [source]

Dec. 14 – Piala (Phiala) [source]

More sources


Green, Caitlin, “St Ia of St Ives: a Byzantine saint in early medieval Cornwall?” The two St. Ias – St. Ia of Cornwall and St. Ia of Persia , archeology, and trade relations between Britian and the Byzantine Empire.

Baring-Gould, S. and Fisher, J. The Lives of the British Saints,  at least 4 volumes, see

Buhez Santez Nonn (Life of St Non) Paris 1837, mystery play performed on St. Non feast day [text on Internet Archive, free ebook]

A Book of Cornwall, by S. Baring-Gould, 1906.

Popular Romances of the West of England, collected and edited by Robert Hunt, 1903. [Gutenberg; Internet Archive.]

Borlase, W., Antiquities, Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall (London: Bowyer and Nichols, 1769), reprinted 1973. [limited view Hathitrust],; Antiquities, Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall: Consisting of Several Essays on the First Inhabitants, Druid-superstition, Customs, and Remains of the Most Remote Antiquity in Britain, and the British Isles, Exemplified and Proved by Monuments Now Extant in Cornwall and the Scilly Islands, with a Vocabulary of the Cornu-British Language, 1769.  [Free eBook ]

The Age of the Saints: A Monograph of Early Christianity in Cornwall, with the Legends of the Cornish Saints : and an Introduction Illustrative of the Ethnology of the District, William Copeland Borlase, 1895. [Free eBook]

Gilbert Doble, series of booklets about saints

  • Saint Gerent (Gerendus, Gerens), Cornish Saints Series, No. 41, 1938.

Further descripton of the series at Library Thing: “The Welsh language Wicipedia includes a warning when using Noble’s work, that he did not believe that women could lead communities or travel regularly, and that the monks who wrote about them were mistaken. This he tried to rectify by turning some female saints into men, and splitting or merging saints that worked close to each other. For example, he suggested that Non was two saints, one the mother of St David and the other a man who travelled and established communities.”

General interest

Cornwall, with maps, diagrams and illustrations, by Baring-Gould, 1910. [Internet Archive]

Henry Jenner, A Handbook of the Cornish Language: Chiefly in Its Latest Stages, with Some Account of Its History and Literature, 1904. [Free ebook]

Cornish saints & sinners by Harris, J. Henry, 1906 [Internet Archive]

Women Saints of Cornwall, Part 1“, Dmitry Lapa, blog post with local photos Saint Breaga, Saint Endelienda, Saint Morwenna

Women Saints of Cornwall. Part 2“, Dmitry Lapa, blog post with local photos, Saint Buriana, Saint Ia (Ives), Saint Keyne

Dictionary of Celtic Saints, Elizabeth Rees, 2012. (gbooks, searchable)