Celtic and Old English Saints          11 May

* St. Credan
* St. Fremund of Dunstable
* St. Lua of Killaloe

St. Credan (Credus, Credanus)
Date unknown. Evidence of the existence of this obscure saint from
Cornwall can be found in Counties Moyne and Wicklow in Ireland, as well
as in the church of Sancreed, which he founded. According to Roscarrock,
he "killed by misfortune his own father, with which he was so moved as
abandoning the world he became a hogherd, and lived so exemplary as he
was after esteemed a saint" (Farmer).

o The church of Sancreed
and its five ancient crosses

o Photographs of the Sancreed crosses

St. Fremund of Dunstable, King and Martyr
at Harbury in Warwickshire, England
Martyred c.866. Saint Fremund is sometimes depicted as a king, but it
is more likely that he was a noble man's son, although he may have been
related to St.Edmund, King of East Anglia. He was born in Warwickshire
near Offchurch but at quite an early age he left home to lead a solitary
life as a hermit on an island called Ylefagel, which may be Steep Holm
or Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel. At that time the English were
constantly under threat from invasions by the Danes, and it seems that
Fremund felt obliged to leave his hermitage to take up arms in defence
of the Christian religion and the freedom of his people.

He died in battle at Harbury not far from his home, and it was believed
that an apostate kinsman by the name of Oswi was responsible for his
death, having allied himself to the heathen Danes in order to further
his ambitions. Fremund's body was taken to Offchurch for burial, and the
fact that the church was founded by King Offa may have been the reason
that Fremund has been described as his son.

The Life by William of Ramsey and a later one by the monk John Lydgate
of Burry say that his tomb was visited by many pilgrims in search of
healing and that in 931 his relics were translated to Cropredy in
Oxfordshire. Certainly there was a shrine containing his relics there in
the Middle Ages, and there is a meadow by the River Cherwell called
Freeman's Holm. Richard, Prior of the new foundation at Dunstable, was
visitor of the Lincoln Diocese in 1206 and found many pilgrims coming to
the little church.

Dunstable was a Priory of Austin Canons founded by Henry I late in the
twelfth century at the spot where Watling Street crosses the prehistoric
Icknield Way. Presumably relics were needed for this church, and in 1210
at least some of St.Fremund's remains were taken to Dunstable and an
altar was dedicated to him.

The shrine was destroyed at the dissolution, but the magnificent nave
and Norman doorway remain in what is now the parish church of St. Peter
(Bowen, Farmer, Hole, Stanton).

St. Lua of Killaloe
Died 7th century. Saint Lua gave his name to the ancient town of
Killaloe (Church of Lua). He is said to have been born of noble parents
in Limerick, and educated at Bangor and Clonard. He founded a church
and school on the River Shannon, where one of his pupils was the future
Bishop Flannan, who succeeded Lua as abbot.

His refuge on Friar's Island, County Tipperary, was a pilgrim's
destination even in the 20th century--until a power dam raised the level
of the Shannon in 1929 and submerged the island. Lua's chapel had been
removed, its stones numbered, and reassembled on the former site of
Brian Boru's palace overlooking the Shannon.

A legend relates that the horse's hoof-prints in the rock of Friar's
Island were those of Saint Patrick's beast -left when
the apostle of Ireland was forced to leap one-eighth of a mile from one
shore to the other to escape hostile pagans. His charger rose to the
challenge and landed with such force on the island that his hoof prints
sank deep into the rock (D'Arcy, Montague).


Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
lives of the saints.]

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

Hole, Christina. (1954). English Shrines and Sanctuaries.
B T Batsford Ltd..

Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.

Stanton, R A. (1887) Menology of England and Wales.
Burns & Oates.

For All the Saints:

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

These Lives are archived at:

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