NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Saint Beuno

Latin: Bonus
Beunor, Bono
Dead propbably about 640

Saint Beuno was a Welsh abbot and saint who lived in the sixth century. He was born into a noble family at Berriew in Powys. His father, Hywel Dda, was a king or prince in the region, and he was the brother or uncle of Gwenffrewi (Winefride), who is also venerated as a saint. It is said Beuno was a descendant of Vortigern, king of Britain.

Beuno was educated in the Christian faith, and he became a monk at the monastery of Bangor Iscoed in North Wales. He was a missionary under the protection of Cadfan, king of Gwynedd.

Beuno was known for his holiness and his miracles, and he founded several monastic communities throughout Wales, such as on the island of Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) off the coast of Wales. The community grew, and Beuno became known for his holiness, wisdom, and miracles. He is perhaps known for his association with the Holy Well of St. Winefride in Holywell, North Wales.

According to the saint’s miracles he raised seven people from the dead – his disciple and cousin, Aelhaiarn, and St. Winefride from the dead after she was beheaded by a prince who was trying to force her to marry him. The well that sprung up where her head fell is said to have healing properties, and it became a popular destination for pilgrims.

One story is the legend of St. Beuno and the Mouse. According to the tale, Beuno accidentally killed a mouse while mowing hay. In response, he miraculously restored the mouse to life. This story has become a symbol of Beuno’s compassion and his close connection to nature. Another notable event in Beuno’s life is his involvement in the restoration of King Cadfan’s son, Cadwallon, to life. Cadwallon had died and was placed on a funeral bier, but Bueno, at the request of his grieving mother, restored the young prince to life.

Saint Beuno is also credited with founding the church of Clynnog Fawr in Gwynedd, Wales, which is dedicated to him. When he died, his remains were initially interred on Ynys Enlli, but were later translated to the church of Clynnog Fawr. The church is still in use today, and it is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims. He traveled extensively, spreading the Christian faith and undertaking acts of charity and healing. He became renowned as a patron saint of healing, with many seeking his intercession for various ailments.

There are some medieval Welsh legends that suggest a possible connection between Saint Beuno and King Arthur. In these legends, Beuno is said to have been a tutor and mentor to Saint Cadoc, who was also a contemporary of King Arthur. Cadoc is said to have been a member of Arthur’s court and a warrior, and Beuno is said to have counseled him on matters of faith and spirituality.

According to one version of the legend, Beuno prophesied that Arthur would be killed in battle, and he adviced Cadoc to avoid participating in the conflict. Another version of the legend suggests that Beuno may have had a role in the death of King Arthur. In this version, Beuno is said to have cursed Arthur because he had killed one of Beuno’s nephews. The curse was said to have brought about Arthur’s downfall.

There are some sources that suggest a genealogical connection between Saint Beuno and Arthur’s family. According to these sources, Beuno was the grandson of Anna, who was the sister of King Arthur. Anna was said to have married a man named Llyr, and they had a daughter named Perfferen. Perfferen is said to have married a man named Rhun, and they had a son named Beuno.

These genealogies are not universally accepted by historians and scholars, and there is some debate about their accuracy. Some historians argue that the genealogies were created centuries after Beuno’s lifetime and may have been influenced by the popularity of the Arthurian legends in the medieval Wales.