Medieval Latin: Petrocus
Born: c. 468, Wales
Died: c. 564, Cornwall, England
Saint Petroc is believed to have been born in South Wales, possibly around the year 468. He was said to be of royal descent, being the son of a Welsh chieftain named Glywys of Glywysing, which would make Petroc brother of Gwynllys and uncle of Saint Cadoc.
According to tradition, Saint Petroc left Wales and traveled to Brittany in France to study and pursue a monastic life. He spent several years there, establishing monastic communities and engaging in missionary work. After his time in Brittany, Saint Petroc returned to the British Isles and settled in Cornwall, where he continued his missionary activities. He established a monastery at Padstow (also known as Petrocstowe) in Cornwall, which became a significant center of Christianity.
Saint Petroc is associated with several miracles and legends. One popular story tells of him taming a wild bear that became his companion and assisted him in carrying heavy stones for the construction of his monastery.
In some versions of Arthurian folklore, it is suggested that Saint Petroc was one of the twelve knights of King Arthur’s Round Table. According to these legends, Saint Petroc held the position of the “Knight of the Grail” or the “Grail Bearer” in Arthur’s court, the Holy Grail is a sacred object of Christian mythology.
Furthermore, there are accounts that mention Saint Petroc having encounters with King Arthur. One legend recounts an incident where Saint Petroc, while on a pilgrimage to Rome, is said to have met King Arthur near the River Tamar in Cornwall. They reportedly engaged in conversation and exchanged blessings before parting ways.
According to the poet Dafydd Nanmor, he was one of the seven survivors of the battle of Camlann.
R. Bromwich argues that the poet used a local, Cardiganshire tradition.