Legend has it that St.Brynach was bound for Ireland from Brittany when he was diverted by God’s will to heathen Wales. What an entrance he made on his arrival, floating up the Cleddau estuary, “on of all things” a ROCK.

There, this handsome man, caught the attention of the proud daughter of the local chieftain and she fell “head over heels” in love with him. When her advances were scorned by this chaste monk; well you know the saying “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, this young lady was no exception and sent her servant with his spear to punish Brynach.

Under the cover of darkness, Brynach escaped but the fleeing servant was attacked by a swarm of flying insects that had issued from the wound he had inflicted and was stung to death. Brynach bathed his wound in a nearby spring that apparently forever flowed red, hence its name Ffynon Goch.

After much travelling and many attempts, Brynach built his church and monetary at Nevern. He introduced agriculture to the people roundabout, teaching them to use wild stags to pull the plough as well as the milking of the hinds. His hand-picked cow give enough milk to sustain the whole monastery. The cow was shepherded to the pastures each morning, returned safely each evening by a wolf tamed by Brynach.

One day, a neighbouring king arrived with his men expecting to be fed, Brynach refused. The annoyed king ordered his men to kill Brynach’s precious cow and cook its entrails for supper. But no matter how the fire under the cooking pot raged the water in the pot refused to heat and the meat remained uncooked. The king and all his retinue were alarmed by the powers of this holy priest, begged for mercy. The magnanimous Brynach, returned the cow to good health and to the care of the tamed wolf, then displayed his miraculous powers by feeding his visitors, and what a meal. He picked loaves from the branches of the oak tree,the stones in the local river when plucked turned to fish and from the same stream he drew the wine. The king and his men ate to abundance, later slept well. In the morning the king praised the lonesome priest and promised that the monastery would be free from all taxes from that day forth.

St. Brynach was gifted with a unique stone cross by his close friend St. David. It stands near the entrance to his church and is known as the Nevern Cross. It is said that the first cuckoo to visit this country each spring lands on and sings from this cross.

St. Brynach died in the 6th century, having had great success with his missionary work in West Wales, where many churches are dedicated to his name and in isolated valleys, pathways, you will find many wells pay homage to his name.

May I suggest a visit to Pembrokeshire, I am sure you will find it worthwhile.

2 comments on “ST BRYNACH

  1. moleitau says:

    brilliant! I wonder though how many older welsh heroes or heroic tales were perhaps ‘rolled-up’ into St. Brynach’s legend. I’m just guessing, but a lot of the heroic feats or ‘ miracles’ seem like they might have been traditional tales attributed to Brynach?

  2. Stephen Delwyn says:

    Another fine telling of a good tale. Missed out on Pembroke on my last trip to Wales, will be on my “to do” list next visit.

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