Celtic and Old English Saints          8 October

* St. Keyne of Wales
* St. Triduana of Restalrig
* St. Ywi of Lindisfarne and Brittany

St. Keyne (Cain, Ceinwen, Kean, Keyna, Kenya) of Wales,
Hermit and Virgin
Died in Wales, 5th or 6th century; her feast appears on October 7 on
some calendars.

The only unassailable statements that can be made about this saint, is
that her name is associated with southern Wales and western
Herefordshire, and that Robert Southey wrote a humorous poem about her
holy well near Liskeard in Cornwall, called "The well of Saint Keyne".
Traditionally, the husband or wife who first drinks of the well waters
is said to 'get the mastery.' The poem tells of a Cornish groom who
leaves his bride on the church porch in order to be the first at the
well. The wife outsmarted him by taking a bottle of the water into the
church and drinking it as he was on his way.

Although it is assumed, because of the legend, that Keyne was a maiden,
the saint's gender has been called into question. She had a strong
cultus in Wales and Cornwall, evidenced by many the many ancient
churches under her protection, and that she is always identified as a
virgin dedicated to God. In fact, in Wales she is known as "Cain Wyry"
or Keyne the Maiden. The argument for her being a man is based on the
fact that she preached and built churches, which was hard work and
entailed many dangers during that period.

She is reputed to be one of the 24 saintly children of Brychan of
Brecknock (f.d. April 6). The legend recorded in the 14th century by
John of Tynemouth makes her an extremely beautiful maiden who refused
all offers of marriage. Instead she became both a recluse and an
itinerant evangelist, from Brecknock to Saint Michael's Mount in
Cornwall, where she met her nephew Saint Cadoc (f.d. September 25).
Cadoc persuaded her to return to Wales. There "she made for herself a
habitation in a certain hillock at the roots of a certain great
mountain," and there caused a healing well to spring up. Before her
death she told Cadoc that the place would fall into the hands of a
sinful race, whom she would root out and lead thither other men, who
would find her forgotten tomb, "and in this place the name of the Lord
shall be blessed forever."

Local legend speaks of the spiral stones in the form of serpents being
snakes turned to stone by her prayers.

She is patron of Saint Keyne in Cornwall and, possibly, of Llangeinor
(Mid Glamorgan). Some claim the Saint Keyne was a
hermit at Keynsham (Cainsliam) in Somersetshire and that it is named
after her; others that she has no cultus in Somerset and that the name
comes from 'Ceagin's (Caega's) hamm.' (Attwater, Attwater2,
Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).

Saint Keyne is depicted as a female hermit turning serpents into stone.
Pictures of her death show her attended by an angel, who strips off her
hairshirt and robes her in white (Roeder). She is venerated at Keynsham

Troparion of St Keyne Tone 8
Having turned serpents to stone, thou didst give thy name to Keynsham, O
holy Keyne,/ and after thy life, resplendent with miracles,/ our Father
Cadoc ministered to thee at thy repose./ By thy prayers, O Virgin, may
we be granted great mercy.

St. Triduana (Triduna, Tredwall, Trollhaena, Trallen)
Died at Lothian (Lestalryk), 4th or 8th century. Saint Triduana is
connected with the mission of Saint Regulus (f.d. March 30) to carry the
relics of Saint Andrew (f.d. November 30) to Scotland. She is said to
have been an abbess and to have lived with two companions at Roscoby

Her shrine at Restalrig near Edinburgh was an important pilgrimage
centre until it was completely destroyed on December 21, 1560, by
Scottish Deformers. The site of her well here has been excavated. It
reveals the former positions of a two story building, a chapel, and
piscina built over the well itself. A portion of the 1487 collegiate
church, which was endowed by at least three kings, remains. There is a
second shrine beside Saint Tredwell's Loch at Papa Westray in the

She is invoked for cures of eye diseases because of a belief that she
plucked out her beautiful eyes and gave them to a local prince who was
attracted to her because of them. Triduana is the patroness of
Caithness (Kintradwell). Aberdeen claims some of Triduana's relics
(Benedictines, Farmer).

St. Ywi (Yvius, Iwi) of Lindisfarne, Hermit
Died in Brittany, France, on October 6, c. 690. Saint Ywi, a monk at
Lindisfarne in Northumbria, was ordained to the diaconate by Saint
Cuthbert (f.d. March 20). He became another of the Celtic saints to
evangelize the Continent. Ywi set sail for an unknown destination and
landed in Brittany, where he lived as a hermit. He was known for his
miracles of healing.

In the 10th century, his relics were translated by a group of wandering
Breton clerics to Wilton, near Salisbury. There the
solemn procession was met by Abbess Wulftrudis. The relics were laid on
Saint Edith's altar while they ate before continuing the procession.
Unfortunately, they found that the relics were immovable, so the abbess
gave the clerics 2,000 "solidi" and they left the relics behind.

His feast is kept at Winchester, Wilton, Worcester, and elsewhere in
southwestern England (Benedictines, Farmer)


Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

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

Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn 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.

Walsh, M. (ed.). (1985). Butler's Lives of the Saints.
San Francisco: Harper & Row. Walsh, W. T. (1943).

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