Saint Kentigern

Cyndeyrn Garthwys, Kentigernus, Mungo


The son of Thaney (the daughter of Lot), according to the account given in the Life of Saint Kentigern. Also called Mungo, Saint Kentigern was a Celtic churchman and the apostle of Cumbria, the patron saint of Glasgow, Scotland.

According to his own legend, he was the son of a Princess Thenew, which is not too dissimilar to Thaney, who was the cast from Traprain Law, then exposed on the Firth of Forth in a coracle and set adrift from Aberlday Bay (a bay in East Lothian, Scotland) to die. This carried her to Culross, where she bore a son (c. AD 518).

Mother and child were baptised, an anachronism, by Saint Serf, who reared the boy in his monastery, under the discipline of Saint Servanus. He was so loved that his name, Kentigern ('chief lord'), was often exchanged for Mungo ('dear friend').

He founded a monastery at Cathures (Glasgow) and in AD 543 was duly consecrated Bishop of Cumbria. In AD 553 he was driven to seek refuge in Wales, where he visited Saint David, and where he founded another monastery and a bishopric, which still bears the name of his disciple Saint Asaph. In AD 573 he was recalled by a new king, Rhydderch Hael, and about AD 584 was visited by Columba.

He died 13 January 614 and was buried in Glasgow Cathedral, which is named after him as Saint Mungo's, his tomb today lying in the centre of the Lower Choir.

In his twelfth-century Life he is descbribed as the son of Yvain and the grandson of Urien. John Majorís chronicle makes him the son of Thametes, the grandson of Lot, and the nephew of Gawain. Scottish tales describe St. Kentigernís encounters with Lailoken, a Scottish counterpart of Myrddin or Merlin.


Notes
Saint Kentigerns attributes was a bishop with a robin on his shoulder; holding a bell and a fish with a ring in its mouth.