Celtic and Old English Saints          21 June

* St. Mewan of Brittany
* St. Corbmac of Durrow
* St. Engelmund of Vebsen

St. Mewan of Brittany, Abbot
(also known as Maine, Mevenus, Meen. Melanus)

Born in Gwent, South Wales; died at Gael, Brittany, c. 617.
Traditionally the Cornish Saint Meen is said to have been born to a rich
and noble family. He mother was related to Saints Magloire (f.d.
October 24) and Samson (f.d. July 28). Accompanied by his reputed
godson Saint Austell (f.d. June 28), he followed Saint Samson from Wales
to Brittany. Samson used him to preach to the people on their way. As
they passed through Cornwall they founded adjoining parishes called
Saint Mewan and Saint Austell.

In Brittany Meen evangelized the Broceliande district which figures in
the Arthurian romances. He acquitted himself so well as a preacher that
he was given land and goods by Count Caduon and Count Guerech I of
Vannes to found a monastery. With their assistance he founded one
monastery near Rennes, Saint John the Baptist of Gael, now called
Saint-Meen's. With Meen as abbot, the monastery gained renown for its
sanctity and regularity. When King Saint Judicaeel (f.d. December 17)
renounced his throne c. 616, he received the monastic habit from Saint

Then he founded another monastery near Angers, which was later called
Saint-Meen or Saint-Meon, which he populated with monks from Gael.

The cultus of Saint Meen spread throughout France and there were
numerous pilgrimages to his shrine at the monastery. At Gael there was
a fountain whose water was renowned for healing skin diseases. The
abbey was converted into a Lazarist seminary in 1640.

His extant _vita_, in which he is called Conard-Meen, was written there
500 years after his death. In England he is the patron of Saint Mewan
and perhaps Mevagissey in Cornwall. Some of his relics are claimed by
Glastonbury; others were translated to Saint-Florent's abbey near
Saumur. His name is found in a 7th-century English litany and in
pre-Conquest missals. His feast is kept in Cornwall and Exeter
(Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Farmer,

Troparion of St Mewan tone 7
Holy disciple of Saint Samson of Dol,/ thou didst persevere in thy
resolve and enter a monastery in Brittany./ Thou didst press on in thy
holy struggle/ and establish thine own monastery./ O holy Mewan, pray
for us to Christ our God/ that our souls may be saved.

St. Corbmac of Durrow, Abbot
6th century. Saint Corbmac was a disciple of Saint Columba, who
appointed him abbot of the monastery he founded at Durrow

St. Engelmund of Vebsen, Abbot
Born in England; died c. 739. Engelmund was educated in England and
became a monk at an early age, then priest, and abbot. He migrated to
Friesland, where he was a successful evangelist with Saint Willibrord,
at Velsen near Haarlem (Benedictines). In art, Saint Engelmund is
depicted as a pilgrim abbot with a fountain springing under his staff
(Roeder). He is venerated in Friesland and invoked against toothache


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

Attwater, D. (1958). A Dictionary of Saints. New York:
P. J. Kenedy & Sons. [Attwater 2]

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.
Green & Co.

Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, June. (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.

Roeder, H. (1956). Saints and Their Attributes, Chicago: Henry

For All the Saints:

Orthodox Ireland Saints

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

These Lives are archived at:

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