Celtic and Old English Saints          16 May

* St. Brendan the Voyager
* St. Carantoc
* St. Carantock Carhampton
* St. Primael of Quimper

St. Carantoc, Abbot
(also known as Carantog, Cairnach, Carnath)
5th century. A Welsh prince who laboured under Saint Patrick in the
evangelization of Ireland (Benedictines).

St. Carantock of Carhampton, Abbot and Founder of Llangranog, Wales
(Carannog, Carantocus, Carentoc), Abbot
6th century. A Welsh abbot, founder of the church of Llangranog,
Cardiganshire, Wales, Carantock visited Ireland as a missionary and on
his return founded a monastery at Cernach of which he was abbot. He led
a group of monks who evangelized central Cornwall, and is said to have
migrated from there to Brittany, where he is highly venerated as Saint
Caredec. Before the end of his life he returned to Cernach, where he
died. William Worcestre mentions a 'Sanctus
Cradokus' (which may mean Cadoc or Carantock) in a church or chapel near
Padstow, where he was venerated because of 'his destroying worms when
people drink the water of a well there.' He is patron of Crantock in
Cornwall, Llangranog, and Carhampton in Somerset. Roscarrock mentions a
Cornish church dedicated to Carantock, which had seven churchyards
attached to it. Parishioners from these seven churches came annually to
bring relics to the mother church and place them on special stones like
altars. Some writers identify him with Saint Carantac (f.d. today).
The feast of Saint Carantock is celebrated in South Wales, Somerset,
Cornwall, and Brittany (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney,

Another Life of Saint Carantock

Saint Carantoc was the son of Ceredig, King of Cardigan, but he chose
the life of a hermit and lived in a cave above the harbour of the place
now called after him, Llangranog, where there is also a holy well, which
he probably used. When the people tried to force him to succeed his
father, he fled, and founded a religious settlement in Somerset at
Carhampton. According to legend, his portable altar was lost as he
crossed the Severn Sea and was washed up at the mouth of the little
brook Willet near Carhampton. Carantoc went to King Arthur, the leader
of the British resistance to the Saxon invaders, to ask his help to
recover his altar, and the King asked him in return to tame a dragon
that was troubling the neighbourhood.

According to the legend, after Carantoc had prayed to the Lord, the
dragon came running to the man of God and humbly bent his head to allow
him to put his stole around his neck and to lead him like a lamb,
lifting neither wing nor claw against him. After a time the dragon was
released and departed having been instructed not to molest the human
inhabitants of the land again. This is said to have taken place at

Besides Carhampton, Carantoc founded a religious settlement at Crantock
across the river Gannel from Newquay, and then, according to Capgrave,
was led by his guardian angel to journey to Ireland to assist St.Patrick
in the conversion of that island. In Ireland he cured one of his
disciples, Tenenan, of his leprosy by giving him a hot bath. His
ministry did not end in Ireland for he is honoured in Brittany as the
founder saint of Carantec and the neighbouring parish of Tegarantec,
which was probably originally Tref Carantoc.

St.Carantoc died in the middle of the sixth century, and Bath Abbey,
which held the living of Carhampton, kept his festival on May 16th. The
Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Breton calendars commemorate him at this time
(Bowen, Baring Gould and Fisher, Farmer, John).

Troparion of St Carantoc tone 7
Preferring to serve in the Kingdom of God/ than to rule an earthly
kingdom, 0 Father Carantoc,/ thou didst convert many to Christ in
Ireland, in thy native Wales and in Cornwall,/ where having cast out the
dragon and founded many churches/ thou wast a shining beacon guiding
many souls/ into the Way of Salvation./ Pray now to Christ our God that
He will save our souls.

St. Primael of Quimper, Hermit
Born in Britain; died in Quimper, c. 450. Saint Primael crossed the
Channel to Brittany, where he became a hermit in Quimper. There one
finds churches dedicated to his memory (Benedictines).


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

Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, J. (1907) The Lives of the British
Saints. 4 volumes. Charles J Clarke.

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

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1966). The Book of Saints. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell.

Bentley, J. (1986). A Calendar of Saints: The Lives of the
Principal Saints of the Christian Year, NY: Facts on File.

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

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

Curtayne, A. (1955). Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. New York:
Sheed and Ward.

Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Doubleday Image.

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.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great
Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London:
Epworth Press.

John, C. R. (1981). The Saints of Cornwall
Lodenek Press Ltd.

Little, G. A. (1946). St. Brendan the Navigator. Dublin:
Gill & Son.

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

Plummer (ed.) "Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae," (Oxford, 1910)
in H. Waddell (tr.), Beasts and saints.
NY: Henry Holt and Co., 1934.

Severin, T. (1978). The Brendan voyage.

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

Webb, E. S. (1947). Lives of the Saints. Penguin.

For All the Saints:

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

These Lives are archived at:

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