[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Mewan

VI/VII Century
Born in southern Wales, St. Mewan, whose name is also rendered Méen, Maine, 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


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