Celtic saints names beginning H-K
HOLYWELL Nr CRANTOCK
There is a holy well and fishponds full of water which had healing properties. There is another well in a cave in Holywell Bay which is accessible at low water. It’s not clear which saint this is associated with.
St Ives (formerly known as Porth Ia)
Troon has a church and well dedicated to Ia.
There is a well at Venton Ia nr Porthmear Beach (St Ives)
She came over from Ireland on a leaf (coracle?) and settled on the mouth of the River Hayle where St Ives is. She was of noble birth, born in 430AD. Converted by Patrick and a disciple of Finnbarr. Legend goes that she missed the boat for an expedition to Cornwall but wept so much an ivy leaf grew big enough to bring her over where she settled inland. A friendly King, Dinan, built a church for her. She established her cell there at St Ives.
She led a mixed community of male and female and was Welsh or Irish.
About 400AD. He was taught by Germanus along with Patrick and founded a monastery at Llantwit Major. A church remains today on the site. He’s associated also with Samson, and Dubricius.
ISSEY: (Itha, Ida) Welsh female
She founded a church between Wadebridge and Padstow at St Issey.
Was baptised with the name Dairdre, which means an insatiable desire for the living water of Heavenly truth.
She was known for her tact, perception, broadmindedness, miracles, and gift of prophecy. She wrote a song to baby Jesus. She was prioress to nuns in Limerick and foster mother to Irish Brendan. She said there are 3 things pleasing to God: 1: resignation to the Divine will 2: simplicity 3: large heartedness and 3 things most hateful to God: 1: churlishness, 2: love of evil, greed or gain.
St Just-in-Penwith nr Land’s End
They had a reputation for being an aggressive rival with St Keverne.
There is a Holy Well at St Just in Roseland by the church and one in the village called Venton Gassic.
An aggressive rival with Just
(Alternative names, Keane, Kayane, Keyna, Cenau, Cenedion, Deinwen)
There is only one written account of her life (Vita Sanctae Keynae) but this was 800 years after she lived so is not considered accurate. However, some things are known about her.
St Keyne was one of King Brychan’s daughters, apparently very beautiful and as a result had many offers of marriage which she refused. She was known for her holiness and piety, as well as her purity, having taken a vow of chastity and lived as a hermit most of the time. In Welsh she is known as Cain Wyry which means Keyne the Maiden, or Virgin.
There are many dedications to St Keyne in South Wales, Anglesey, Somerset, Hertfordshire and Cornwall. She is said to have travelled widely and founded many prayer oratories in Wales, including Llangeinor in Mid Glamorgan, Llangunnor and Llangain in Dyfed and Rockfield (Llangennon) in Runston Gwent. There is a side chapel in Brecon cathedral dedicated to her. I’ve had amazing encounters with God in this particular chapel and have been returning for several decades.
In Cornwall St Keyne village is named after her and her holy well is still there, plus the church is built on a ‘lan’ indicating an early Christian holy settlement. The River Kenwyn in Truro is also attributed to her name and she is the patron saint of St Martin by Looe (Penndrumm).
One interesting legend is from Keynsham in Somerset where it’s said she lived on the banks of the River Avon. It was swarming with serpents and uninhabitable as a result. She prayed fervently and the serpents were turned to stone and the land became habitable. It’s easy to dismiss this type of story as mere legend yet it has survived over 1500 years and one assumes there is a grain of truth within it. Afterall, these Celtic Christians moved in supernatural power and there are many such stories existing.
In around 490AD she visited her nephew St Cadoc at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and stayed there awhile before returning to Wales. A healing spring marked her final prayer oratory and where she died. The likely spot for this is Llangeinor in Glamorgan. It is said the healing properties of the spring remain.