Celtic and Old English Saints          30 September

* St. Honorius of Canterbury
* St. Midan of Anglesey
* St. Enghenedl of Wales
* St. Lery of Brittany
* Ss. Tancred, Torthred, and Tova

St. Honorius of Canterbury, Bishop
Born in Rome, Italy; died at Canterbury, England, on September 30, 653.
Saint Gregory the Great (f.d. September 3) chose the monk Honorius to
evangelize England because of his great virtue and learning. Honorius
succeeded Saint Justus (f.d. November 10) as archbishop of Canterbury,
was consecrated at Lincoln by Bishop Saint Paulinus (f.d. October 10).
He received the pallium sent from Rome by Pope Honorius I, together with
a letter by the Pope's hand stating that whenever the sees of York or
Canterbury became vacant, the surviving archbishop should consecrated
the duly selected successor of the other.

During Honorius's episcopacy, the faith spread throughout the island and
took root in many hearts. He carefully selected and trained his clergy
to ensure their commitment to the Gospel (Bonniwell, Husenbeth).

St. Midan (Nidan)
Died c. 610.

Two of those who accompanied Kentigern on his return from Cwymru (Wales) to
Strathclyde were St Nidan and St Finan. Nidan is still remembered in Wales,
having had his name attached to the parish of Llanidan on the Menai Strait
in Anglesea.

Nidan was the grandson of Pasgen, son of Urien Rheged, and was thus a cousin
of St Kentigern who was the son of Owain, another of Urien's sons. This
might suggest that he may have been one of Mungo's companions when he
journeyed to Wales to escape from the dangers which threatened his safety in
the kingdom of Strathclyde. It is also said that Nidan followed his master
as ab of the Andat (parent community) of Kynor near Huntly.

The two churches bearing Nidan's name, at Strathdon and Midmar, are
certainly of ancient origin. Both, interestingly, lie near to, or as part
of, a motte of Norman origin. There was a chapel within the walls of the
Norman motte and bailey at Invernochty which is known to have served as the
parish church for many years. However, the mound is known as the Doune of
Invernochty - doune, from the Celtic word dun, a fort, tells us that this
was a seat of power for the Picts long before the Anglo.Norman infiltration
of Alba. It is entirely probable then that this dun would have been an
irresistible magnet to the missionaries who came with Kentigern and who
looked to found their churches at important Pictish settlements. At Midmar,
the church lies a little to the east of a mound known as the Cunningar which
served as the centre of administration for that part of the Pictish province
of Mar known as Midmar.

Somewhat to the north of this site there is a very ancient druidic stone
circle with its recumbent stone. Obviously, this was an important centre of
population for the local Pictish tribes and would have been a natural focus
for the missionary work of Nidan. In the same way, Nidan's colleague St
Finan established a church at another of the important administration
centres of the province at Migvie, from which Cromar was governed.

For a map and some photographs please see

Troparion of St Midan tone 8
Amongst Angelsey's adornment of Saints,/ thy virtuous life shines forth
to illumine these islands, O Father Midan./ We pray thee to intercede
with Christ our God/ that His mercy, and not our weakness, will prevail
that our souls may be saved.

St. Enghenedl of Wales
Died 7th century. Nothing is known about the life of the Welsh Saint
Enghenedl to whom a church is dedicated in Anglesey

St. Laurus (Leri, Lery) of Brittany, Abbot
Born in Wales, 7th century. Saint Laurus migrated to Brittany, where
he became the abbot-founder of the monastery later known as Saint-Lery
on the Doneff River. He knew how to give all to God (Benedictines,

Ss. Tancred, Torthred, and Tova, Hermits
Died at Thorney, Cambridgeshire, England, in 870. Very little is known
of these hermits from Thorney, except that Tancred and Torthred were
men; Tova, a woman. According to the 12th-century Pseudo-Ingulph, which
may be based on older texts, they were martyred by Danish invaders. They
were venerated at their shrine at Thorney before the end of the first
millenium. Their bodies were translated by Saint Ethelwold (f.d. August
1) (Farmer).


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

Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, September. (1966).
Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

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

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

For All the Saints:

These Lives are archived at:

Reply via email to