Celtic Saints names beginning F and G
A virgin who had her cell by the shore at Phillack. Gwinear met her when she arrived in Cornwall.
FIMBARRUS (Finnbarr, or Barry):
1: Finnbarr, Irish abbot from Cork 606.
He loved the solitude of hills and lapping water under high crags. Miracles: a visitor asked for proof of God. They were sitting under hazel trees. Immediately the catkins turned to nuts and fell at their feet. Another time Jesus lifted Finnbarr by the right hand to see the glory of heaven. From then on, his hand blazed with light and he had to wear gloves. He travelled to the Outer Hebrides and founded a monastic centre on Barra.
2: Barry son of Brychan and uncle to Cadoc
He was brother of Breaca, Euny, Erc and his Ia.
Patrick converted his father Clito.
Gwinear is a hermit in Brittany. He returns to Ireland and joins a missionary trip to Cornwall. He could strike rock and water emerged. He restored a cow to life. Beheaded by warlord King Teudar. He picked up his head and carried it away to where his church is today. A tree grew at the execution site. Anselm a Breton monk wrote a history of Gwinear. It’s the only full report of a Cornish saint. He moved in miracles
St Germans, east Cornwall
He was the Bishop of Auxerie in France, 418AD. He came to Britain to argue against the teachings of Pelagius. On his second visit he was attacked by pagan raiders. His defenders shouted Alleluia loudly and the attackers ran away. He taught Patrick and Illtud. He founded a church and monastery at St Germans, known as Cornwall’s cathedral.
Germoe village named after him. Inland five miles from Helston.
He came over from Ireland with his sister BREACA and others in 460AD. They landed near Hayle but were attacked by local warlord Teudar. Germoe escaped up the River Hayle and took refuge on Tregonning Hill, a Celtic settlement, 4 miles west of Helston overlooking Mounts Bay.
GERAINT: (Gerren, Gevent, Gerran): Dumnonia
He was King of Dumnonia (which was Cornwall and included parts of Devon) in early 8th century. He still observed the Celtic dates for Easter and not the catholic
Langurthowe (holy place of Goron: in Fowey)
He first established a hermitage cell at Bodmin but when Petroc arrived he moved to make place for him and went to Fowey. He had a hermitage in the valley by the stream above Fowey church. It was a sheltered inlet on the hills. He disappeared when Fimbarus arrived. Langurthowe was a town predating Fowey. He is also associated with Gorran Haven.
A noble monk in Brittany. He lived a desolate life on an island in the sea of Etel where he had a monastery. Gudwal’s well was used as an oracle to discern if cattle or goods were lost or stolen and to get news of absent friends. If people were ok the water bubbled. If sick the water discoloured. If dead the water remained still.
Her father was a leper living in the St Michael’s chapel on Roche Rock. She tended her sick father.
Irish missionaries, 700+ and 7 bishops, male and female landed at Hayle and travelled inland to Connor Downs. They were killed by King Teudar (possibly a Christian king who mistook them as aggressors). Many raiding tyrants had come across the Irish sea. Gwithian church is on the site of the martyrdom. There’s a holy well. Companions were Gwinear, Breaca, Elwyn, Derwe,Piala, Sinnins, Grevenna, Crowan, Uny - I don’t know if these were killed too.
Archaeological evidence has found hand-made pottery in the region dating from 550-600AD. It is unique to north-eastern Ireland and suggests it was brought here by the Christians.
There are remains of St Gothian's chapel a short distance from the parish church among the dunes. However, the sand has reclaimed it and buried the remains, so nothing is visible today except a raised bit of land. It was the main church and burial place for Connerton (Gwithian) until the sand forced its closure and the building of the parish church. For a while two churches existed, as is documented by John Leland in 1540. In 1827 the local farmer, wanting to excavate a pond for his animals, came across the remains of the chapel and burial area. The original prayer oratory was probably built of wood by St Gothian, or to commemorate the martyrdom. At later dates stone chapels were built on the same site, each slightly larger and more elevated as dictated by the blowing in of sand. There is evidence of buildings from 6-7th centuries (the wooden oratory), 7-8th centuries (the first stone building), 9-10th centuries and 10-11th centuries. It seems to have been abandonned in the13th century due to the encroaching sands but was still visible in 1540, though totally covered by sand by 1750 before being exposed again in 1827.