Endelienta, Hermit of Cornwall

April 29 is the Feast of Saint Endelienta, Hermit of Cornwall
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“Saint Endelienta (also Endelient, Edellienta or Endellion) was a Cornish saint of the 5th and 6th century. She is believed to be a daughter of the Welsh King Brychan, and a native of South Wales who travelled to North Cornwall to join her siblings in converting the locals to Christianity. Legend says that she was a goddaughter of King Arthur, and that she lived as a hermit at Trentinney where she subsisted on the milk of a cow. The saint is commemorated in the church and village of St Endellion which bear her name; Endellion being an Anglicised version of her name. Her feast day is 29 April.”
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St. Endelienta (Born c.AD 470)
(Welsh: Cynheiddon; Latin: Endelienta; English: Endellion)
“ St. Endelienta was one of the many daughters of King & Saint Brychan of Brycheiniog. She may be identical to his daughter called Cynheiddon or Cenheidlon in Welsh records. This latter lady lived at Llangynheiddon in the parish of Llandyfaelog near Cydweli (Kidwelly). From South Wales, Endelienta crossed the Bristol Channel to join her siblings in evangelising North Cornwall. Endelienta probably landed first on Lundy Island, where she founded a small chapel (later mistakenly rededicated to St. Helen), before moving on to stay with her brother, St. Nectan, at Hartland. She chose to settle at a place called Trenteny, just south-west of St. Endellion, but still used Lundy as a retreat for meditation. Up until the 16th century, a chapel dedicated to her survived at Trenteny and it was in an adjoining hermitage that she lived a very austere life, with only a cow for company and its milk and the water from her two wells for sustenance. Her sister, St. Dilic, did, however, come to live at nearby St. Illich and the two would often meet along a certain path whose grass would ever afterwards grow greener than elsewhere.

St. Endelienta’s unfortunate cow was eventually killed by the Lord of Trenteny when it strayed onto his land. Word of this injustice soon reached the ears of Endelienta’s godfather, King Arthur, and he immediately sent his men to exact revenge from the reckless lord. Trenteny was killed, but Endelienta was not altogether pleased that a man should be murdered in her name and she miraculously restored him to life.
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Years later, St. Endelienta had a vision of her impending death. So she called her friends together and instructed them in her last wishes. She asked that, after her death, her body be lain on a cart, yoked to two unguided bullocks and that they be left to take her wherever they liked. St. Endelienta died, apparently martyred – perhaps by Saxon pirates – on 29th April, sometime in the mid-6th century. The young beasts were set to work as she had instructed and they brought her body to rest amid a quagmire on the top of a nearby hill. There, she was buried and a fine church built over her grave, where the church of St. Endellion now stands.

St. Endelienta’s shrine was a draw to pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages but, like all others in England, was destroyed during the Reformation. However, its base has survived and can still be seen in St. Endellion Church.”
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“Endelienta (5th or 6th century) lived as a hermit in Cornwall. Her father was King Brychan of Brecknock, and her brother was St. Nectan of Hartland (Devonshire). Edelienta had a beloved cow, whose milk provided her only food. One day the cow (whose name is not remembered) strayed onto a nobleman’s property, and the nobleman, Lord Trentinney or Tregony or something, killed it. He paid for it with his life when Edelienta’s godfather (who may have been King Arthur) found out. Edelienta was so upset to hear that a man was killed on behalf of her cow that she restored them both to life. When she knew her death was approaching, she asked that her body be placed on an ox-cart, and buried wherever the oxen stopped. The Church of St. Endellion (a variant of her name) stands on that spot, and the village of St. Endellion surrounds it.”
endelienta church
Collegiate Church of St Endelienta (St Endellion), Endellion, North Cornwall. The parish takes its name from Saint Endelienta, who is said to have evangelized the district in the fifth century and to have been one of the children of King Brychan. Two wells near the village are named after her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Endellion


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