Lesser Known Saints

Kentigern (Welsh: Cyndeyrn Garthwys) known as Mungo (d. 13 January 614)
Saint Mungo has a great name and is the founder of the city of Glasgow, Scotland. According to the hagiography Mungo was the son of a princess. She was raped and her father was furious and threw her off a hill and abandoned her. So Mungo was born and raised by Saint Serf, who was ministering to the Picts. At 25, Mungo began his own ministering around the river Clyde where Glasgow now sits. The story continues that while in Glasgow Mungo performed four miracles. Restored life to a robin, re-lit a fire with a hazel branch, brought a bell from Rome, and that fish story (wife throws ring into water eaten by fish, proves she’s not cheating.  I have always thought that Mungo was a made up Saint for Harry Potter but it turns out he is real.

Íte ingen Chinn Fhalad or Ite of Killeedy (c. 480-570/577)
Ita is considered to be the foster mother of all the saints of Ireland. Ita mean “thirst for holiness”. According to the genealogy written in the codex Ita is said to be the sister of Brigit’s mother. At 16 Ita moved to Killeedy (Church of Ita) where she formed a community of consecrated women. It is likely that this community had a school attached and Ita and the other women in the community would teach boys. Through the school perhaps is where his role as foster mother began. from Brendan the Navagator one of her foster children learn that Ita said when asked what God loved best replied  “True faith in God and a pure heart, a simple life with a religious spirit and open-handedness inspired by charity.”  Later on the flip side of the question is asked three things God most detested “were a scowling face, obstinacy in wrongdoing, and too great a confidence in the power of money. Ita’s grave remains a popular pilgrimage site to this very day

Fursey (also known as Fursa, Fursy, Forseus, and Furseus)  (c.597-650)
Fursey was a monk in Ireland and is one of the four comely saints. Fursey did what ever it took to help spread Christianity into the British Isles especially in East Anglia. Fursey had visions which made him famous in medieval literature. Fursey died in France while on a mission trip, before his first burial he was kept outside for a month and smelled of a sweet odor staying incorrupt until he was buried. He was exhumed four years later and was moved to a new chapel  near the altar. However he might have been moved again as accordingly the four comely saints are all supposedly buried in Inishmore, where there is a holy well. John M. Synge wrote a play which is set at this location.

Hilary (Hilarius) of Poitiers (c. 300 – c. 368)
Hilary was a male who was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. For years I used to think that this was a female saint as in our modern times Hilary is considered a female name. Some consider Hilary the “Athanasius of the West.” Hilary was a good Pagan boy but after some book learning he became a Christian. His wife and daughter would join him as well. Around 350 the people of Poitiers were big fans of Hilary and they named him bishop, one of his first actions as bishop was to work to throw out the Arian-ist threat. He was exiled by the emperor and would eventually return. He would go on to encourage Martin of Tours to open a monastery and Hilary himself would write a lot of things.


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