Born in southern Wales, St. Mewan, whose name is also rendered
and Mevennus, traveled to Brittany via Cornwall and evangelized the
Bretons who lived in the forest of Brocéliande,
reputed to have been the home of Merlin. Mewan is connected with Sts.
Samson and Austell; some stories report that he and Austell were blood
relatives, while others assert Austell was Mewan's godson. Mewan and
Austell are thought to have founded the churches that bear their names in
adjacent parts of Cornwall, and Mewan established monasteries in
Brocéliade and on the Meu River. The monks of St. Méen, the
second of the two monasteries, wrote his vita around 1100, about five
hundred years after his death in the early 600's. By 611, his tomb had
become a shrine for pilgrims in France. Glastonbury claimed to have held
some of his relics, but churches in Cornwall, along with Essex, were the
primary keepers of his memory outside Brittany.
Karen Rae Keck
- St. Mewan's Church ---Cornish Churches
Méen's (bilingual in French and English)
---Wall Paintings of the Romanesque Churches in the Loire Valley
Return to St Pachomius Library.