Celtic and Old English Saints          26 June

* St. Brannock of Braunton
* St. Babolenus of Fosses
* St. Corbican of Ireland

St. Brannock, Abbot of Braunton
(also known as Barnoc, Brannoc)

6th century. Saint Brannock appears to have migrated from southern Wales
into Devon. Some say that he floated over from Ireland in a stone
coffin. He founded a monastery at Braunton, near Barnstaple in
Devonshire, where William Worcestre and Leland say he was buried. The
traditions concerning him are confused. Some hagiographers identify him
as the 6th-century Welsh missionary Saint Brynach (Bernach or Bernacus).
Because there are two separate feasts at Exeter on April 7 and January 7
for the respective saints, it is unlikely that they are the same person
(Benedictines, Farmer).

The parish of St. Brannock's is a legacy of St.Brannock who first
founded the church in the sixth century. The church was built in a
wooded valley away from the main Celtic settlement, near to the
trackways which came through gaps in the river Caen and went onwards to
the saltpans of nearby Saunton or to cross the river Taw/Torridge
estuary and on down towards Cornwall. Tradition has it that St Brannoc
first built his church on a hill overlooking Braunton but it fell down,
and in a dream he was told to look for the sow and her piglets and there
to build his church. The story is still commemorated in one of the
stained glass windows and one of the roof bosses of the present St
Brannocks where if you look carefully you will see the sow and her

Three churches have been built on the site and the present church dating
from the 13th century contain elements of the church of 837 AD. The
exact locality of Saint Brannoch's tomb is now unknown, but some of his
relics are in the church and it is a place of pilgrimage for Greek
Orthodox from London.

Later the church became a minster, giving the name Brannocminster to the
Saxon settlement which grew up on both sides of the river Caen. By the
time of the conquest, the village was a royal manor of importance, equal
to Barnstaple.

Troparion of St Brannock of Braunton tone 1
Righteous tutor of the children of Brychan and great wonderworker, O
Father Brannock,/ thou didst win many souls for Christ by thy tireless
endeavours./ As Braunton's church may yet hold thy precious relics,/
Pray that we, being ever mindful of our Orthodox heritage,/ may never
deviate from the true Faith/ and, thereby, receive the reward of the

St. Babolenus of Fosses, Abbot
Died c. 677. Babolenus migrated to France, where he became a monk at
Luxeuil under Saint Columbanus. Later he was appointed the first abbot
of Saint Peter's near Paris, which was renamed Saint-Maur-des-Fosses
when the relics of Saint Maurus where brought there from Anjou. He was
helped by Saint Fursey in the erection of many churches and hospitals in
the diocese of Paris. Together they served the whole diocese under
Bishops Audebert and Saint Landry (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

St. Corbican of Ireland, Confessor in the Low Countries
8th century. Corbican was an Irish recluse in the Low Countries who
spent part of his day helping and instructing the peasants


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

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:

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

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